Bridgewater celebrates foundation trust status

Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust is delighted to announce that it has become one of the first two community healthcare trusts in the UK to achieve NHS foundation trust status. This follows an intensive period of assessment by the health regulator, Monitor.

Bridgewater is a large community healthcare trust delivering community and specialised health services to more than 830,000 people living across nine North West boroughs.

Bridgewater manages a portfolio of children’s, adult’s and specialist services delivered in patients’ own homes or close to where they live; in clinics, health centres, GP surgeries, community centres and schools.

The change in status means local people across these boroughs will have a greater influence over how Bridgewater operates in the future.

Bridgewater began the application process in 2011. There are now 149 NHS foundation trusts.

Dr. Kate Fallon, Chief Executive, said, “We have worked hard to become an NHS foundation trust so that we will be able to work more closely with members of the public in our area, reflecting their needs in the development of our services, ensuring that health care is timely and effective and making a major contribution to the wellbeing of people in our community.

“Now we will have more freedom to look for better ways of meeting our own patients’ particular needs and priorities. However, we will be closely regulated by Monitor to make sure we continue to meet performance and other NHS standards whilst maintaining the excellent quality of care to our patients.”

As a community NHS trust, Bridgewater has recruited more than 10,000 public members across the North West. The views and opinions of these members will be made known at future board meetings, through a Board of Governors, and will play a prominent role in any future decision making.

Harry Holden, Chairman of Bridgewater, said: “This is an incredible achievement and a credit to the hard work and professionalism of all staff.”

Colin Scales, Chief Operating Officer at Bridgewater, said: “The assessment process that Monitor undertook was very thorough, enabling the Trust to demonstrate not only that we deliver excellent, high quality services but also that we have ambitious plans to continue improving health, underpinned by strong partnerships with other providers, local commissioners and residents.“

Director of Delivery and Development (North) for the NHS Trust Development Authority (TDA), Lyn Simpson said: “This is a worthy achievement by the Trust and for all the patients whom it serves. The TDA supports Trusts to become sustainable NHS organisations both clinically and financially .We are proud of the dedication of the team at Bridgewater to attain this and we wish them all well for the future as a foundation trust.”

Miranda Carter, Executive Director of Provider Appraisal at Monitor, said: “We are pleased to announce the authorisation of Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Trust as a foundation trust. More than 830,000 patients in the north west of England could now have a greater say over their healthcare and the new trust will have greater freedom to provide services that meet the needs of local people.

“The authorisation of a trust that provides healthcare in the community is proof that foundation trust status is attainable by all types of health care organisation.”

Bridgewater’s foundation trust status will become effective from 1 November 2014.

Monitor, the sector regulator for health services in England, have published the following press release:

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