VOL: 19, ISSUE: 11, PAGE NO: 9
Carolyn Scott, EditorCarolyn Scott, Editor
How much do you know about the new foundation trusts and what is your view about their future impact? Our recent survey (news, page 2) drew up something of a surprise. The 500 senior nurses questioned were more or less divided on whether the trusts are going to benefit patients or create a two-tier system. Many of you were opposed to the change. This contrasts with the enthusiasm we saw at the trust in Birmingham visited in the last issue of Professional Nurse.
The feedback following our survey results is that it is too early to tell. The first foundation trusts only came into being in April, with the next wave this month. Unless you are in a foundation trust and have examined the idea in detail, you may not have a fully formed view. The experience of the first trusts to be involved in the coming months will be very valuable for others who follow.
The two main factors characterising the new organisations - that the trusts have freedom from central control, and a greater level of involvement from staff and the local community - will make the arrangement very different for everyone. Foundation trusts are worth keeping an eye on.
The plan is for all trusts to work to this arrangement by 2008, so - if the first ones succeed - this is all coming your way.
Our 'Policy in Focus' paper on page 14 details what foundation trusts are and the potential implications for nurses, other health professionals and patients.
Nurses on foundation trust boards are already taking opportunities to influence the direction of health care in their clinical areas. We will be learning from them.
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