Thousands of local people offered a bigger say
Fifty thousand local people will be asked to become members of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust over the next few days.
The Trust, which runs hospitals at Cromer and Norwich, is in the process of applying to become an NHS Foundation Trust and has sent letters to thousands of local patients.
The change will give local people a greater say on how their hospitals are run. Becoming a member is free and open to anyone over the age of 12 who lives in the Norfolk and Waveney areas.
Becoming a member will mean that people can:
Get involved in areas of the Trust that interest them
Receive regular updates about the work of the Trust
Receive invites to events for members about health topics
Vote in elections for Governors and stand for election as a Governor (members aged over 16)
All Foundation Trusts have a Council of Governors which has a stewardship role, overseeing how hospital services are provided and influencing plans for the future. The Board of Directors will continue to be responsible for the day-to-day management.
Over 3,600 people have already joined the Trust as members and the aim is to boost this number to over 5,000 in readiness for holding elections for a Council of Governors in the first few months of 2008.
Paul Forden, Chief Executive of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust, says: This is an exciting opportunity for local people to help us improve our services by applying to become a member and having a more direct say in the future of our hospitals. Our application to be an NHS Foundation Trust is being considered during December and we are hopeful our plans will be approved.
All the Trusts services will remain in the National Health Service and are subject to NHS standards, and inspection regimes.
Every year the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS Trust treats more than 600,000 patients from across Norfolk, north Suffolk and neighbouring counties.
The membership invitation has been sent to a sample of patients from the Trusts database and the electoral register. Patients who do not receive a letter can ring for an application form on 0870 707 1628 or apply online at www.nnuh.nhs.uk
For further information about Foundation Trusts visit www.nnuh.nhs.uk/page/ft