If you need additional assistance reading our website please use our accessibility tool.


Northumbria looks back at achievements and marks 10 years of FT status

Thursday, 04 August, 2016
Northumbria looks back at achievements and marks 10 years of FT status

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is this week marking 10 years since joining the elite of the NHS by becoming a foundation trust.

Set up by the Government in 2004, foundation trust status is seen as a marker of excellence in patient care and evidence of being a well-run and financially stable organisation. While still part of the NHS, it gives greater freedom to plan local services and respond to the needs and wishes of local communities.

Since achieving the status in August 2006, Northumbria Healthcare, which covers an area of 2,500 square miles and employs 9,500 staff, has achieved a phenomenal amount and gone on to become one of the most highly-regarded NHS organisations in the country.

Recognised nationally for delivering the highest standards of care in hospital and in the community with an unrivalled reputation for forward-thinking and innovation, the trust has implemented a major investment programmes which has included the new Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital at Cramlington, and new facilities in Haltwhistle, Morpeth and Rothbury.

A key part of being a foundation trust is being accountable to local people through its governors and members with Northumbria Healthcare having a strong and influential Council of Governors and a 65,000-strong membership.

Notable achievements over the last decade include:

·         Being one of only five trusts currently rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission

·         Being named as one of the country’s ‘top hospitals’ for nine consecutive years

·         Being selected to spearhead work to develop new ways of working known as ‘multihospital chains’

·         Being named ‘best place to work in the NHS’ with some of the most satisfied staff in the country

·         Being named ‘provider trust of the year’ for its drive to continuously improve the quality of care it delivers to patients

·         Introducing a new model of emergency care and opening the country’s first purpose-built hospital dedicated to treating patients who are seriously ill or injured – The Northumbria hospital

·         Leading the way nationally in providing seven-day services with emergency care consultants on site 24/7 at The Northumbria hospital and consultants in a range of conditions working seven days

·         Opening one of the country’s first integrated schemes to have health and social care under one roof in partnership with Northumberland County Council

·         Setting up what is seen as one of the most comprehensive patient experience programmes in the NHS with a commitment to listen to all feedback

·         Having one of the best financial track records in the NHS which helped the trust to buy out the PFI contract which enabled Hexham General Hospital to be built

·         Working with partners to open Morpeth NHS Centre, bringing together outpatient, diagnostic, community and primary care

·         Taking over responsibility for community services in Northumberland and North Tyneside, and adult social care services in Northumberland, and developing joined-up ways of working to benefit patients

·         Completing the build of Hexham hospital

·         Opening a new hospital in Rothbury

David Evans, chief executive of Northumbria Healthcare, said: “Becoming a foundation trust was the first step in our journey to becoming the ‘outstanding’ trust we are today.

“Achieving this status gives us greater freedom to plan our services around the needs of our population and over the last 10 years, we have worked hard to tailor and improve the care we provide to benefit people living in Northumberland and North Tyneside.

“It also gives us greater say as to how money is spent and as financially one of the best-run trusts in the country, it has enabled us to reinvest surplus finances in patient care, improving services and supporting our major modernisation programme.

“While it’s a time to look back, it’s also an opportunity to look forward and set ourselves the challenge of building on our achievements for the next decade.”

Alan Richardson, chairman of Northumbria Healthcare, said: “Being a foundation trust enables us to have a direct link with our local communities through our governors and members and over the last 10 years our Council of Governors has gone from strength to strength.

“By representing the views of local people, our governors play a key role, regularly giving valuable input into how our services are run and ultimately holding our board to account.

“With more than 65,000 members, our membership is one of the largest and most engaged in the country and we would encourage people living in Northumberland and North Tyneside to join us and have their say on local healthcare.”

To become a member visit to complete the online application form or call the foundation membership team on 0191 203 1296.

The trust will be celebrating its achievements since 2006 on its social media channels.