News story

Monitor defers foundation trust application of NHS trust in Birmingham

Monitor has deferred for up to a year its decision on whether Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust should become a foundation trust.

The reason for the deferment is to enable the trust to further strengthen some aspects of how it is run.

Birmingham Community provides community and specialist health care services to patients in Birmingham and across the wider West Midlands region.

The independent Care Quality Commission rated the quality of Birmingham Community’s services as good overall in July 2014. However, Monitor concluded that the trust needs to further enhance certain aspects of the way it is run before it can become a foundation trust.

Miranda Carter, Executive Director of Provider Appraisal at Monitor, said:

We are deferring our decision on whether Birmingham Community should become a foundation trust for up to a year.

We want to give the trust more time to build on work it is already doing to strengthen some aspects of how it is run before we are able to grant the freedoms that come with foundation status.

There are currently 150 NHS foundation trusts, almost two-thirds of all trusts in England’s NHS. Foundation trust status gives patients a greater say in their healthcare, and foundation trusts have more freedom to shape services to match the needs of local people.

NHS foundation trusts are:

  • free from central government control and able to decide how to improve their services
  • able to retain any surpluses they generate to invest in new services, and borrow money to support these investments
  • accountable to their local communities, with local people as members and governors