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A major foundation trust in the north east of England has been handed a major funding boost as the health service looks to improve treatment in that region of the country.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has secured an additional £1.15m of funding boost amid financial difficulties for the health service.

The extra money is intended to support work to take a national lead on radical new options for the future of local hospitals across the country, and thus the foundation trust has asserted that the NHS as a whole will benefit.

NHS chief executive Simon Stevens announced in September that the trust was one of only three organisations selected to spearhead work to develop new ways of working known as ‘multi-hospital chains’.

The funding will be derived from the £200 million fund already earmarked for the NHS to assist such transformational projects.

By creating Northumbria Foundation Group, the work will enable the trust to widen the support and services it provides to other organisations, building on the success of work already taking place.

The Northumbria trust will then be put in the privileged and responsible position of being required to share its clinical knowledge and expertise across the NHS.

Spreading innovation and best practice will be central to this ethos, but the Northumbria trust will also provide corporate services to other similar organisations in the health service.

David Evans, Northumbria Healthcare’s chief executive, commented that the trust was uniquely qualified to take on this responsible new role.

“With many years of successfully running multiple sites within hospital and community settings across a large geographical area, we have vast amounts of experience to share with the wider NHS. Given this experience and our track record of delivering improvements with our work with North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, we are ideally placed to spearhead this exciting work and form a foundation group.”

Evans also took time to explain how the funding will specifically assist the Northumbria trust in carrying out its duties and vision for the future.

“This funding will help us bring our vision to life and enable us to progress our plans to share our knowledge and expertise, helping to drive up standards across the UK, while creating vast efficiencies through sharing corporate functions.”

Northumbria Healthcare has been in a ‘buddy trust’ arrangement with North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust since 2013.

This has enabled the two organisations to provide an extensive range of clinical and managerial expertise.

And both argue that this has led to a significant improvement in the safety and quality of patient care hospitals in locations such as Carlisle and Whitehaven.

 

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