Kent Community Health NHS Trust and Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust have both become foundation trusts today, it has been announced.
There are now 150 NHS foundation trusts in total, almost two thirds of all trusts in England’s NHS, said the regulator Monitor.
Kent Community Health, the second largest community trust in England, is the third provider of community services to become a foundation trust. It was given a “good” rating by the Care Quality Commission last year.
Its chief executive Marion Dinwoodie thanked the organisation’s 5,500 staff, noting that every day she witnessed the “amazing care they provide”.
“I hope our patients will have renewed confidence in knowing the services they need from us, right from the advice and help they receive from our health visitors after the birth of a newborn to support from our nurses at the end of life, can be relied on,” she said.
Nottinghamshire Healthcare is the first trust providing high security psychiatric services to be awarded foundation status. It runs Rampton Hospital and also provides healthcare in 13 prisons across the country.
As foundation trusts, the two organisations will have greater freedom from central government and be able to retain any surpluses they generate to invest in new services.
Miranda Carter, Monitor’s executive director of provider appraisal, said: “The approval of two new foundation trusts is good news for patients across England who will get a greater say in their local healthcare services, and for the trusts which will benefit from extra freedoms.”