Islands Will Get Two Representatives On Hospital Foundation Trust

Royal Cornwall Hospital at Treliske. Photo © Copyright Tony Atkin

The Isles of Scilly will have two ring-fenced seats on the governing council of Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust if they achieve NHS Foundation Trust status next year.

RCHT ran consultation sessions with islanders and the Council on St Mary’s last October where they outlined plans for Scilly to be represented by one of two governors elected from the whole of West Cornwall, an area with a population of around 100,000.

At the time, many people highlighted the unique problems faced by islanders in accessing hospital services and questioned how governors who lived on the mainland could represent them.

In yesterday’s Health Overview and Scrutiny meeting, Ethna McCarthy from RCHT, who run Treliske, West Cornwall and St Michael’s hospitals, said following the feedback they’ve now decided to set aside a seat for a Council representative, as well as one for a member of the public from Scilly.

That person will be elected early next year along with ten other governors from across the region.

Foundation Trusts were introduced by the previous Government as a way to devolve control of the NHS to more locally accountable bodies and over half the hospitals in England have already made the switch.

The trusts are not-for-profit organisations with locally appointed governors guiding the direction of hospital services.

Mrs McCarthy said RCHT was in the final stages of applying for Foundation Trust status and expect to find out if the bid is successful in March next year.

Chairman, Cllr Dudley Mumford thanked the trust for the consideration given to the Isles of Scilly.