Health trust in Portsmouth suspends bid for foundation status

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A TRUST that provides community and mental health services in Portsmouth has suspended plans to get a status that would give it more independence.

Solent NHS Trust has today announced that it has halted plans to become a foundation trust.

The trust said it is following national plans for new models of care outlined by the NHS last year when it launched its Five Year Forward View, which involves working in a more integrated way with other organisations.

In a joint statement, the governing board chairman Dr Alistair Stokes and trust chief executive Sue Harriman said: ‘We want to invest our time and energy into engaging and valuing our staff, ensuring the safety of our services and making the changes we need to ensure our services are fit for the future.

‘As our plans progress, we may see that there are different organisational models that are better suited to the services that we would wish to provide.

‘However, as we explore all these options we will invest more time, energy and resource into working with our staff, patients, service users, carers and the public.

‘We will embed a culture of continuous learning and quality improvement so that Solent NHS Trust is a place where people choose to work and to receive their care.’

Foundation trusts were introduced by the government as a new way in which NHS services are managed and provided, giving organisations greater freedom to decide how to improve services.

Solent was last year referred to Monitor, England’s health sector regulator, for the final assessment, which is still in the process of being done.

The trust said its governing does not rule out revisiting the application at a later date.