Being a foundation trust

We worked hard towards becoming a foundation trust (FT); a status we were awarded on 1 March 2015. We are still part of the NHS, treating you for free whenever you need it, but we have a large membership made up of the local people working with us.

Not only that, but being an FT also helps us to be more cost effective and to use savings more flexibly to improve our services for you.

Thousands of people have signed up as trust members. It’s free and you can be involved as much or as little as you like.

You can also read about our governors; voted for by you, working for you.

What does being a foundation trust mean?

A foundation trust (FT) is a not-for-profit organisation, which is still part of the NHS. Introducing FTs has seen a change in the way NHS services are provided; it is seen as an important part of the Government’s programme to create a more patient-led NHS.

Foundation trusts are less influenced by the Government, so they have more freedom to decide, with their governors and members, the way that services are run. FTs can keep left-over money and they can borrow to invest in new and improved services for patients.

NHS FTs can be likened to co-operatives where local people, patients and staff can become members and governors and hold the trust to account.

Being a foundation trust helps us to make sure we provide exactly the right services to meet the needs of local people. Our members are able to work with us to develop services.

FT status also supports us to achieve our vision to provide excellent care and improve the health of our communities.

Membership enquiries

01233 667827

Trust Membership Office
The Oast
Unit D, Hermitage Court
Hermitage Lane
Kent, ME16 9NT