Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn becomes a foundation trust
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital has today been given the go ahead to become a foundation trust.
Managers say the move means patients and members of the public will be able to have a greater say in the running of services at the hospital, whose catchment includes West Norfolk and the Fens, along with Breckland, North Norfolk and parts of Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire.
The QEH's foundation trust bid has been approved by Monitor, the independent regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts.
Areas such as quality and safety of services, patients' experiences and quality of financial management must all be approved by the watchdog.
QEH chief executive Nerissa Vaughan said: 'We are absolutely delighted to have gained NHS foundation trust status, which recognises that we are a safe, high performing hospital.
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'I should like to take this opportunity publicly to thank all our staff and volunteers for their total commitment to making it possible for the trust to achieve this very important goal.'
Trust chair Kate Gordon said: 'We already have a Foundation Trust membership of more than 3600 public members, and we are looking to recruit more new members all the time.
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'So I would invite anyone who has an interest in our hospital and the services it delivers to come and join us as a member.'
As a foundation trust, the QEH will have more freedom to choose which services it invests in.
It will also be able to keep any surpuses it achieves through cost savings and re-invest them in care.
Sir Neil McKay, chief executive of NHS East of England said: 'I am delighted that the Queen Elizabeth Hospital's foundation trust application has been successful.
'FT status is a well deserved recognition of the hard work and commitment by the trust and its staff to improve services for its patients.'