THE trust that runs St Richard’s Hospital has been awarded foundation trust status.
Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust, which is in charge of the Chichester hospital, is the first acute trust in Sussex to be awarded the status.
The formal change on July 1 means the trust will enjoy greater independence from government control, have the freedom to retain and invest any financial surpluses into services, and be run more democratically.
Trust chief executive Marianne Griffiths said: ‘I’ve always known the staff in our hospitals strive to give their patients the best possible care, and now this award shows everyone just how good they are.
‘Becoming a foundation trust is extraordinarily hard, and so I hope people can take comfort – and pride – from the fact their hospital services have been recognised as among the very best.
‘For the past three years there has been a rigorous examination of every single aspect of the work our staff do, and Monitor has concluded our services are excellent, safe, efficient and sustainable.
‘It is the biggest vote of confidence we could receive, which is brilliant.’