These findings are according to figures released by the health sector regulator Monitor.
Patients, carers, members of the public and foundation trust staff are all eligible to become members of foundation trusts. Members are able to have more of a say on how hospitals and other services are run, can vote for governors to act on their behalf and can share their experiences with trust management.
In March 2014, there were 2,231,708 members of foundation trusts in England. Of these, 1,567,198 were patients or members of the public. This compares with 2,198,943 foundation trust members in March 2013 (of whom 1,555,995 were patients or members of the public).
The greatest percentage increases in members were at Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (37%) and Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (34%).
Professor Hugo Mascie-Taylor, Executive Director of Patient and Clinical Engagement at Monitor said today:
Becoming a member of a foundation trust is one way for patients to have a say in how their local NHS services are run. It gives them the chance to vote on their representatives on the board of Governors and influence the decisions management take, so it is great news that more people are becoming members.
I would encourage everyone to get in touch with their local foundation trust to find out how they can get involved.