An NHS Foundation Trust (FT) is an NHS trust that is part of the National Health Service in England and has gained a degree of independence from the Department of Health.
The L&D became a Foundation Trust in 2006 – the first hospital in Herts, Beds and Bucks to achieve this status.
The NHS now ensures that we all have choice. You can choose where you would like to be treated right through from GP, to assessment and treatment. We believe that the L&D offers the best choice locally – both in terms of treatment and in terms of involving local people through FT membership.
The Role of an NHS Foundation Trust
NHS Foundation Trusts are a key part of the Government’s commitment to reform the health service and meet the needs of local people.
They are public benefit corporations and are all about the NHS being run locally, and being accountable to its local community rather than to the Secretary of State.
How NHS Foundation Trusts differ from NHS Trusts:
Becoming an FT Member
At the L&D we now have over 18,000 registered FT Members, including 4,000 members of staff and volunteers.
Becoming a member is easy – Anyone can become a member – it’s FREE. However, in order to vote in the Governor Elections or stand for hospital governor election members need to be 16 or over and be living in Bedfordshire or the surrounding areas.
Membership is a very practical way in which you can have your say about how the hospital is managed and develops in the future.
You can choose to be involved as much or as little as you like – also see the Benefits of Membership section.
So if you are not already a member, why not join us and have your say – click here for the on-line Membership form.
You might also want to become a Governor and each year we hold elections for a proportion of seats on the Council of Governors. Full details on how to stand for election will be sent to all registered members in advance of elections.
The Role of an FT Governor
We are directly accountable to the local public through our Council of Governors, which includes 22 members of the public and nine staff and volunteers.
What is Involved in Being a Governor?
NHS Foundation Trust Governors are the direct representatives of local interests within Foundation Trusts. Governors do not undertake operational management of NHS Foundation Trusts; but they challenge the Board of Directors and collectively hold them to account for the Trust’s performance. It is also the Governors’ responsibility to represent their members’ interests, particularly in relation to the strategic direction of the Trust.
At the L&D the Council of Governors has 22 Public Governors, elected from three constituencies (Luton, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire), together with nine Staff Governors elected from six classes.
Regular elections provide an opportunity for you to stand for election as a Governor to represent the interests of the members of your constituency.
The specific statutory power and duties of the Council of Governors are to:
Governors do not get paid, but are reimbursed expenses.
To stand for election you must be aged 16 or over and live in the relevant constituency (i.e. if you live in Luton you can stand for election for a seat in the Luton constituency, but you cannot stand for election for a seat in the Beds & Herts constituency). Only L&D staff and volunteers can stand for election to the staff constituency.
For more information about the role of a Governor and Foundation Trusts please visit NHS Improvement website here or call the Membership Department on 01 582 718333.
Who regulates Foundation Trusts?
The Trust’s finances and activities are closely regulated and overseen by an organisation called NHS Improvement.
Monitor is the independent regulator for all NHS Foundation Trusts, making sure they are well-managed and financially strong so that they can deliver excellent healthcare for patients.