Health trusts pursue foundation status

TWO Suffolk health trusts have been given the all clear to pursue foundation status which promises greater financial freedom and will make them more accountable to the people they serve.

TWO Suffolk health trusts have been given the all clear to pursue foundation status which promises greater financial freedom and will make them more accountable to the people they serve.

West Suffolk Hospital Trust and Suffolk Mental Health Partnership Trust will be consulting with the public as part of moves to win the coveted status and a decision will be made by the Government later this year.

Foundation hospitals gain greater financial freedom which they can use to run their own schemes and projects to meet the health needs of residents in the areas they serve. They are also accountable to the local community rather than central Government control.

Mark Halladay, chief executive at the mental health trust said a three-month public consultation was being held county-wide from July asking people what they think and inviting them to join us as members.

A tour of the areas served by the trust is underway, with consultation starting at Ipswich Town Hall on July 10 and will visit Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill, Newmarket, Thetford, Wickham Market, Felixstowe, Hadleigh, Stowmarket and Sudbury.

For West Suffolk Hospital, the move is a reversal in fortune after battling with huge deficits which Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt said had to be repaid. But the trust ended the financial year nearly £1 million in the black.

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