Our Application

Our application

  • Why we want to become an NHS Foundation Trust
  • How we would run our NHS Foundation Trust
  • Timetable for our application
  • Becoming a member
  • Useful documents and links

Why we want to become an NHS Foundation Trust

We are applying to become an NHS Foundation Trust because this will enable us to better deliver our plans to change the way we provide services and respond to the needs of people living in Sandwell and western Birmingham.

In particular, NHS Foundation status will enable us to invest in local services that meet the particular needs of people in our area, provide us with members and Governors who will act as ‘critical friends’ and help improve our services and develop our strategy.

Becoming an NHS Foundation Trust will enable us to explore new ways of working with partner organisations to provide care closer to home, and to give patients and frontline staff a greater voice.

We have a strong track record in financial management, the performance of our services, and engaging patients and staff. A successful application will demonstrate we have a clear vision and strategy, robust plans and strong governance.

Government policy is for all NHS Trusts to become NHS Foundation Trusts by 2014. We firmly believe that it is in the best interests of our patients, people living in Sandwell and western and central Birmingham, and our staff, that we succeed with our application so that we can focus on the particular health care needs of people living in our area.

How we would run our NHS Foundation Trust

We have developed our plans for NHS Foundation Trust status with the involvement of our staff, local people and partner organisations. We held a public consultation in 2008 and in February and March of 2012, we carried out further engagement about our plans.

Since 2008 we have maintained a membership of 7,500 local people who have had opportunities to get involved in activities and help identify the priorities for the Trust.

When we become an NHS Foundation Trust, the way that we are governed and managed will change:

  • Local people (aged 11 and over) and staff will be able to become members
  • A Council of Governors will be set up to oversee the running of the NHS Foundation Trust (this is an elected voluntary role, expenses are paid and training is provided)
  • A Board of Directors including Executive and Non Executive Directors will run the NHS Foundation Trust on a day to day basis
  • The Chair and Non Executive Directors will be appointed by the Council of Governors
  • A range of communication and engagement initiatives will ensure members are involved and that their voice is listened to

Timetable for our application

We are currently preparing our application and intend to submit our plans to the Strategic Health Authority in November 2012 and to the Department of Health in April 2013. Following approval by the Department of Health we will submit our plans to Monitor, at which point we will hold elections to the ‘shadow’ Council of Governors.

The dates we might expect the Department of Health and Monitor to approve our application are not yet known, but the earliest possible date we could become an NHS Foundation Trust is the end of 2013 / early 2014.

Becoming a member

People over 11, living in Sandwell, Birmingham or the wider West Midlands can apply to become members. Membership is free and there are a number of different ways you can get involved.

In addition to newsletters, and activities such as health seminars, we have launched a ‘virtual’ membership. This is designed to encourage those who may not have the time or ability to come to events, but do have access to the internet, to get involved with the Trust. Click here to find out more about membership, including events, newsletters and the virtual membership (opens new window).

Useful documents and links

Our plans to become an NHS Foundation Trust (PDF)