Who is 2gether?
2gether NHS Foundation Trust (2gether) provides specialist mental health and learning disability services to the people of Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.
We serve a combined population of 761,000 people who live within 1,900 square miles of rural and urban landscape. Ninety-six percent of our services are provided within the community and as close to an individual’s family and friends as possible – this is an essential factor in helping to improve a person’s recovery.
You can learn more about the services we provide by visiting the Trust’s main website, www.2gether.nhs.uk.
What are NHS Foundation Trusts?
NHS Foundation Trusts are run locally, not by central Government. We are regulated by Monitor and help ensure local accountability, ownership and control of NHS services in your area. We also seek to provide people with an opportunity to learn about services and get more involved.
We work with our members, services users and their carers and local organisations to gather feedback and advice. This feedback helps us develop a range of comprehensive services that meet the needs of our local communities and make continued improvements in all that we do.
This makes sure that the people we serve have access to the right services in the right place and at the right time.
How we fit into the NHS structure
2gether is an NHS Foundation Trust. We are part of the NHS. We treat NHS patients according to NHS principles and standards. The difference is the Trust is run locally, not by Government, and so we are able to work closely with our community to develop services in the way that best suits the needs of local people.
We have a board of governors, with representatives elected by local people and staff. We are free from Government control and free to manage our own budgets. As a key part of the NHS, we will be inspected and certified by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to the same standards as other NHS trusts. We will continue to provide services according to the NHS principle of free care – based on need and not the ability to pay – and the assets used to deliver NHS services are protected under law.
How does this benefit the community?
With greater freedoms as an NHS Foundation Trust, we can develop services that are more responsive to local needs. A funding system allows us to borrow, up to an agreed limit, and keep any surpluses. We can then use this money to improve facilities and services, without having to go through lengthy bidding procedures in competition with other NHS organisations. We can still apply for funds made available to meet national priorities. We plan and work closely with other partners in the local NHS and social services. However, the greater freedoms to set up new types of partnerships and to work differently have lead to new and innovative service developments.
How does this benefit staff?
As an NHS Foundation Trust we are able to explore different ways of working in partnership with staff to deliver local services with increased freedom to reward excellence. Staff have the opportunity to become a member of our NHS Foundation Trust and elect staff members on the board of governors.