THE Secretary of State for Health is backing a bid by Western Sussex Hospitals’ NHS Trust to achieve foundation trust status.
The trust, which runs St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester amongst others in the county, is applying to become a foundation trust to gain greater freedom.
It would give the trust the opportunity to set its own priorities and give its patients, staff and community a stronger voice in deciding how its services should develop in future.
Earning the support of the Andrew Lansley enables the trust to proceed to the final stage of the application.
David Flory, NHS deputy chief executive, wrote to Marianne Griffiths, Western Sussex Hospitals chief executive, saying: ‘This is a major achievement and recognises the hard work and effort you and your team have put in.’
Moving into the final phase of the approval process paves the way for the trust to hold the first elections to its council of governors, which will act as a link between the trust board and its membership.
Ms Griffiths, said: ‘Winning the approval of the Secretary of State is an important milestone on the road to becoming a foundation trust, but it is also a vote of confidence in the quality and safety of care our hospitals provide.’
She added: ‘It is the hard work and excellence of our staff that has taken us this far and which will enable us to deliver better and safer services again as a foundation trust.’