NHS foundation bid deferred

SUFFOLK Mental Health chiefs are today determined to improve its bid for foundation status after its first one was turned down.The Suffolk Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust's bid to become the county's first foundation trust, which would have meant the organisation was more accountable to people living in the area, was deferred by the Department of Health.

SUFFOLK Mental Health chiefs are today determined to improve its bid for foundation status after its first one was turned down.

The Suffolk Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust's bid to become the county's first foundation trust, which would have meant the organisation was more accountable to people living in the area, was deferred by the Department of Health.

The DoH believed that because the Trust has recently made several changes to improve its services, these need to be bed in before the Trust moves forward to the next stage.

Mark Halladay, the Trust's chief executive, said: “Clearly we are disappointed by the deferment, as we wanted to achieve the special status by April next year, but this does allow us time to make sure that our application is even better and our readiness for the additional responsibilities even greater.

“We have already had some extremely good feedback that shows that the Trust is well-run and effective. “And although we'll have to wait a little bit longer before we get the official go-ahead, we are still absolutely committed to running as a public benefit membership organisation and all that entails.”

Once the application is granted, becoming an NHS Foundation Trust would place the direction of healthcare in the hands of local people rather than central government.

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Members of the public can join as members, or even stand for election to become a governor of the new Trust.

For more information visit www.newmember.info

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