NHS Foundation Trust online membership launches

Members of the public living in Norfolk and Waveney can now apply online to become members of the busiest NHS hospital trust in the region.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust has applied to become an NHS Foundation Trust and local people aged over 16 can apply online at www.nnuh.nhs.uk to become members. Membership is free and entitles people to vote and stand for election as public governors.

Chairman David Prior said: “Our hospitals are among the top-performing in the country and we see the main benefits of becoming a Foundation Trust as being able to work more closely with our community to design services according to local, rather than national needs. People can help us improve our services by applying to become a member and having a more direct say in the future of our hospitals”

NHS Foundation Trusts are public benefit organisations that provide NHS healthcare, they are not controlled by Whitehall but are accountable to local people and to an independent regulator. The trust's hospitals (Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and Cromer and District Hospital) will remain in the National Health Service and subject to NHS standards, and inspection regimes.

NHS Foundation Trusts have a membership that includes local residents who live within the trust’s local area, and members of staff. There will be a council of governors and a board of directors. The council of governors will be elected by the membership of the NHS Foundation Trust to represent their interests at strategic level. The board of directors will be responsible for the day-to-day management of the hospital.

An application has been made to the Department of Health for NHS Foundation Trust status following a consultation that showed nearly nine out of ten people supported such a move. If the Secretary of State approves the application it will then go to the Foundation Trust regulator Monitor for consideration in autumn 2007.

Every year the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust treats more than 600,000 patients from across Norfolk, north Suffolk and neighbouring counties.

Friday 17th of August 2007 03:00:07 PM