NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts are not one and the same.
There are slight differences between the two that are useful to know if you’re thinking about migrating overseas to start your new life in the UK.
NHS trusts are public sector bodies established by parliamentary order by the secretary of state for health to provide healthcare services to the NHS.
They have a board of executive and non-executive directors, and are accountable to the secretary of state.
NHS trusts are expected to become foundation trusts in due course, and are performance managed by the NHS Trust Development Authority (TDA) on behalf of the secretary of state to support them in this transition.
The foundation trust model is a unique expression of local empowerment, created to devolve decision making from central government to local communities.
Foundation trusts have a legal duty to maximise the public benefit derived from the organisation, providing and developing healthcare according to the core values of the NHS. They go through a rigorous approval process, after which they have greater freedoms than NHS trusts to work with their local communities and design their services around local needs.
Local residents, staff, patients and service users can become:
In providing local services, foundation trusts continue to work to national standards and are also accountable to commissioners, the regulators and parliament.
There is a level of accountable autonomy within the foundation trust model where organisations actively engage their staff and community in continual improvement.
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