Foundation Trust

Our Trust

DWMHPT aims to become a top 5 mental health trust, providing the very best of mental healthcare within our boroughs. We will achieve this through the delivery of flexible, high-quality, evidence-based services which will enable recovery. To realise our vision of being ‘Better Together’, we will also continue to work with our staff, service users, carers, partners and other stakeholders as we move towards Foundation Trust status.

We have started this journey by introducing a programme of improvements that will give our service users the very highest standards of mental health care. Our staff will benefit from the satisfaction of providing that care. We have already:

  • received national accreditation for Acute Inpatient Mental Health Services (AIMS) and Acute Inpatient Mental Health Service for Older People (AIMS OP)
  • launched a dedicated Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) service for people experiencing Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
  • been selected by the National Commissioning Group to be one of four centres in England to deliver a national Deaf service for children up to the age of 18 and their families
  • been selected to become an early adopter of the Equality Delivery System (EDS), a new equality framework for demonstrating best practice in delivering the Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Agenda
  • invested over £6m in trust estates with work undertaken significantly improving Trust buildings and offering a much better quality of environment for service users, visitors and staff

The Trust, which manages community based and acute services across both Dudley and Walsall, is now applying to become an NHS Foundation Trust. We believe that this is the best way for us to fulfil our exciting plans for our services, our service users, our carers and our staff. We also believe it is the best way for many people with an interest in mental health services to become directly involved in influencing them. Maybe that includes you.

An introduction to Foundation Trusts

Foundation Trusts are very much part of the NHS and provide free, quality healthcare based on need. They are required to meet at least the same standards of service and care as all NHS trusts.

Foundation Trusts work in partnership with other organisations and have a duty to co-operate with local partner organisations in the best interests of their health communities. They also have a duty to comply with the scrutiny regime as managed by local authority overview and scrutiny committees. Overseen by Monitor, an independent regulator appointed by the Department of Health, they are accountable to Parliament and continue to be inspected by organisations such as the Care Quality Commission.

Foundation Trusts have some major advantages to the way NHS Trusts, such as ours, are run at the moment. In particular, becoming an FT will ensure:

  • Better…Accountability – the Trust will be more explicit and effective in its accountability to Dudley and Walsall; at the very heart of the communities it cares for. This will be achieved via a robust and thriving membership, based on a similar model to the Co-operative movement
  • Better…Innovation – the Trust will have greater freedom to develop and innovate
  • Better…Influence – the Trust will be able to ensure that mental health has a greater presence and ‘voice’ within the local health economies
  • Better…Quality – the Trust will be able to establish effective arrangements and resources to ensure continued development of the quality of its services
  • Better…Investment – the Trust will be allowed to create and retain financial surpluses, giving it more freedom to invest in and develop services
  • Better…Viability – the Trust will be able to focus on its efficiency and productivity, resulting in a better understanding of the Trust’s ‘business’ and ensuring that resources are used more effectively
  • Better…Continuity – the Government expects all NHS healthcare providers to become NHS Foundation Trusts by April 2014. The status of NHS Trust (non Foundation Trust) will be removed from statute in 2014, so if we do not gain Foundation Trust status by this date, we will be merged with an existing Foundation Trust. We do not believe that this would be in the best interests of mental health services being delivered in Dudley and Walsall. By becoming a Foundation Trust and remaining a separate organisation, we will be in a strong position to maintain and develop services to suit local needs.