It’s a new era for mental health and learning disability services as the local specialist provider, South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust, has today been authorised as a Foundation Trust. This means local people will now have more say in how the organisation is run.
A Foundation Trust is a different kind of NHS organisation, which gives people who use services, and those living in local communities, the chance to help shape how services are developed and delivered. The Trust will now be accountable to the local community through its membership, and to Parliament, rather than to the Department of Health. So far, over 11,000 local people have already joined the Trust as members, along with over 2000 Trust staff.
The new status means the organisation will also have a new name, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
Local people will be represented by a Council of 39 elected and appointed members. The Members’ Council will play an important role in influencing key decisions affecting the organisation.
The Trust’s chief executive, Steven Michael, said, "We are delighted that our bid to become a Foundation Trust has been successful. Our authorisation follows a thorough assessment by Monitor, the independent regulator, of all areas including service development, safety, risk, finance and governance. "
He continued, "Only the best NHS trusts in the country can gain foundation status. Our Trust has been able to demonstrate that we are performing well and that we have strong and sustainable plans for future developments that will truly benefit local people. We put our local communities’ knowledge, ideas and experiences at the heart of what we do and are looking forward to engaging with our members. Foundation Trust status is a badge that we can wear with pride as it will allow us greater independence and flexibility to respond to the needs of local people. "
To find out more about the Trust or how to become a member visit www.southwestyorkshire.nhs.uk or telephone 01924 327567.