Today, I've completed a Membership Application Form to join The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt NHS Orthopaedic Hospital Foundation Trust. I considered carefully before joining. After the horrors of what happened at Stafford Hospital, everyone will consider carefully. Reason I'm posting on the issue is to encourage others to do the same.
'The Orthopaedic' at Gobowen, near Oswestry is a much loved hospital. It serves the whole of North Wales, as well as much of the West Midlands. It was where Mrs D had her knee replaced. About 30 % of its business is derived from North Wales, significantly less than in years past, because of Assembly Government policy to repatriate treatment to Wales - the policy I believe has the potential to create two separate NHS' each side of Offa's Dyke.
A few years ago, when I was an Assembly Member, I arranged a presentation by the Hospital Trust Board at the National Assembly for Wales. Several AMs attended, but the application for trust status wasn't submitted. Since the Stafford Hospital catastrophe, all applications have been on hold. The process is only now getting going again. Lets hope the regulatory side is water-tight this time.
The idea of a Foundation Trust is that anyone with an interest in the Hospital, (patients, staff, carers, volunteers, etc.) can become a member, and can then, collectively elect Governors of the Trust - or even apply for Non-Executive Director posts on the Board of Directors. There will be a total of 21 Governors running the Hospital, which will remain part of the NHS. 11 of these will be Public Governors. Powys will have just one of these places, while North Wales will have two, Shropshire will have four, with the remaining four coming from Cheshire and the West Midlands. I accept that there is political antipathy to the whole concept of Foundation Trusts within the Assembly Government, so there's not likely to be encouragement from that quarter. But its happening at our Orthopaedic (and at the Royal Shrewsbury as well) - and in my opinion, we're better served becoming involved than burying our heads in the sand. Anyway, I've filled in my form.