Monitor has authorised three more trusts to become foundation trusts, including the first to achieve the status in the community sector, at its board meeting this week.
The three organisations are the Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust, Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, and Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust.
The Foundation Trust Network welcomed the approvals, saying it was evidence that the “FT pipeline continues to flow”.
Network chief executive Chris Hopson said: “This is great news for all three trusts and also the first time that community trusts have been given foundation trust status. The FT pipeline is well and truly flowing and delivering its objectives.
“After a lull in authorisations in the last two years due to the hiatus caused by the establishment of the CQC’s new inspection regime, it is encouraging to see applications are being submitted, processed and approved,” he said.
Mr Hopson noted that the NHS Trust Development Authority had also put Bradford District Care Trust and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust through to start the foundation authorisation process.
In addition, Monitor has highlighted that it is likely to be considering at least five more applications in the next few months, he said.
“The benefits of FT status are now well recognised – good governance, local decision making and accountability are clear,” he added.
Brian Stables, chair of Royal United Hospital Bath, said he was “delighted” at the trust achieving foundation status and that the “qualities of the whole team here at the hospital have shone through this rigorous assessment”.
“I would like to thank all those involved in the process and especially our staff for many of whom this has been a long journey,” he said.