What is a Foundation Trust?
City Hospitals Sunderland became an NHS Foundation Trust on 1st July 2004. We believe this is really good news for the people of Sunderland and the other local communities we serve. While we remain fully and firmly within the NHS, we have new freedoms and opportunities. One of the most exciting of these opportunities is to involve local people in our activities. We now have a membership made up from members of the public, our patients and staff. From within this membership, we have an elected Council of Governors responsible for helping us shape our future strategies and plans. This means local residents, our patients and our staff can become much more closely involved in the running of their hospital services.
All NHS Foundation Trusts require authorisation from Monitor (the independent regulator for NHS Foundation Trusts). The Trust’s Terms of Authorisation and its Constitution can be found on Monitor’s website.
Who can be a Foundation Trust member?
Anyone can be a member if they are over 16 and:
- are a patient at the hospital; or
- are living in the area covered by Northumberland, Tyne and Wear Strategic Health Authority (from the Scottish border down to North Yorkshire and across to the Cumbrian border in the West); or
- are a member of City Hospitals Sunderland staff.
Members in each of these groups (public, staff or patient) can vote to elect representatives (Governors) from within their group to sit on our Council of Governors. This Council will help us to shape our plans for the future and how the Trust is run.
Our next elections are not due to take place until June 2019. If you wish to put yourself forward to stand for election to the Council of Governors or simply vote in our elections, you must be a member so do please join.
Why should I become a member?
The Government set up NHS Foundation Trusts to enable hospitals with good track records to have more freedom from central control and to develop their plans for local services with local people. As a member, you will have a direct influence on how local NHS services are developed for the benefit of you and your family.
What will being a member mean?
Membership is free and after joining it is entirely up to you how involved you become. We will send you newsletters (approximately twice a year) outlining any developments of our services and facilities. This may be as much involvement as you want, or you may wish to play a more active role by coming to our Board of Governors meetings in public, by voting in elections for our Governors or even standing for election yourself – but all of this is up to you! We also host Medicine for Members events 2 or 3 times a year which are free for Foundation Trust members to attend. Please click here for details of the next event.
We want as many members as possible to make it truly representative of the people we serve. If you are interested in becoming a member, please take the time to complete the electronic form or contact us at the address below:
Foundation Trust Membership
Department of Corporate Affairs
City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust
Sunderland SR4 7TP