Trust puts foundation bid on hold

AN NHS Trust is putting its bid to become an NHS Foundation Trust on hold today while it concentrates on delivering new services to improve healthcare.

Rebecca Lefort

AN NHS Trust is putting its bid to become an NHS Foundation Trust on hold today while it concentrates on delivering new services to improve healthcare.

The board of Suffolk Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust decided this week to temporarily withdraw its application to become a Foundation Trust, a move which would give it more control over running its own affairs.

The trust said the decision was made in order to make faster progress on the existing developments such as building new wards at Ipswich Hospital, refurbishing one ward on the West Suffolk Hospital site, and improving access to psychological therapy in GP surgeries and other primary care settings.


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It is also half-way through a major plan to promote much greater independence for people who use its learning disability services.

The trust's chief executive Mark Halladay said the decision had been made in agreement with Monitor, the organisation which regulates Foundation Trusts.

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He added: “We are so advanced on these projects that, actually, having discussed our plans with the independent regulator Monitor, it would be better to stay as we are for now.

“Although we're putting the Foundation Trust application itself on 'pause', we are delighted that Monitor is so positive about our application and are still very much committed to running as a Foundation Trust and all that entails.

“We believe in Foundation Trusts' accountability to local people and will be operating as far as possible as if we were already a Foundation Trust.

“I'd like to thank all the members of the public, our staff and our new governors for the support they have given us so far. It's going to be a little longer before we can hang up our certificate, but our organisation would not be in as good a shape as it is today without their commitment to making things better.

“In 12 months' time we will have had the benefit of the shadow Council of Governors' settling into their new roles, and we will also have made great strides in our development plans.”

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