In January 2010, the Trust Board agreed for Dartford & Gravesham NHS Trust to withdraw its application to become a Foundation Trust (FT). The withdrawal was related to the impact of the NHS Operating Framework for England for 2010/11, which poses some key challenges to NHS Acute Trusts. Although the Trust’s plans to meet these challenges were viable, they left little flexibility to deal with certain ‘downside’ (i.e. worst case) scenarios. Under such scenarios, the financial metrics for the Trust did not meet the minimum required for a Foundation Trust. In this context the board recognised that the financial case for becoming a Foundation Trust was no longer viable.
During the FT application process, the Trust made significant improvements in its governance and business planning activities, which will underpin the provision of more efficient, high quality care and treatment for patients. Furthermore, the Trust Board felt strongly that the structures that have been established during the FT application, in particular the Council of Governors and the Membership, should be retained, as these structures provide an invaluable, and real link between the hospital and its surrounding community, and have already made a difference to Trust plans.
The Trust held elections to its Council of Governors in August/September 2008. Governors have been elected to represent four public and four staff constituencies. All public and staff members are entitled, and have been encouraged, to stand as a Governor or to vote. The outcome of the elections for each constituency. As well as the elected governors, six further governors are appointed by stakeholder organisations. The Council of Governors held its first meeting in November 2008, and has met regularly since.
The Trust have already recruited over 4000 members of the public. Details of how to become a Trust member and application forms are available on the membership page.
Who should I contact if I want more information?
The Associate Director of Corporate Development (Trust Secretary), is happy to answer any enquiries about the Membership or Governors. She can be contacted via telephoned on 01322 428150, or by letter at Trust Headquarters, Darent Valley Hospital, Darenth Wood Road, Dartford, DA2 8DA.