City's 'landmark moment' as hospitals achieve foundation trust status

Bosses at Southampton’s teaching hospitals have hailed a “landmark moment” for healthcare in the city after being awarded NHS foundation trust status.

Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust has received approval from independent regulator Monitor following a rigorous assessment process and will be known as University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHSFT) from tomorrow (Saturday).

It means the Trust, which runs Southampton General and the Princess Anne hospitals and hospice Countess Mountbatten House, will benefit from greater managerial and financial freedom and will be more accountable to local people.

In addition to more than 20,000 members – ranging from staff, patients and local residents – already signed up to have a say on the running of their hospitals, the Trust has had an elected shadow Members’ Council in place for two years which will now represent the views of their members and scrutinise Trust decisions on a regular basis.

“This is a landmark moment for the city and is a reflection of the outstanding skill and commitment of our staff, who have been instrumental in securing this status and moving us closer towards our vision of becoming one of the world’s leading medical and academic centres,” said chief executive Mark Hackett.

“In the face of ongoing difficulties in the health service, our staff have worked tirelessly to improve our patients’ experiences by driving down incidences of infection, improving privacy and dignity while in hospital and developing our stroke, major trauma and vascular services into regional centres of excellence among many other achievements they should all be extremely proud of.”

Chairman John Trewby added: “I am delighted for all our staff, current and former patients and the many members of the public who have helped us reach this milestone and who will now play an active role as we move into new territory both clinically and academically on our journey towards world-class status.”

Posted on Friday 30 September 2011