Hospitals explained

A Hospital is a health care facility that provides treatment for patients by specialised staff and equipment. The word Hospital originated from "places of hospitality", and this meaning is still preserved in the names of some facilities such as the Royal Hospital Chelsea, established in 1681 as a retirement and nursing home for veteran soldiers.

Types of Hospitals

There are many different types of Hospitals;

  • Hospitals that don't accept Accident and Emergency patients
  • Hospitals that specialise in specific diseases or conditions
  • Community Hospitals
  • Trusts - Hospitals that are funded by the Public Sector
  • Teaching Hospitals treat patients just like a Trust does, but they also teach medical staff on the premises
  • Foundation Trusts where local people, patients and staff can become governors and hold the Trust to account
  • Private Hospitals

National Health Service Trust

A National Health Service (NHS) Trust provides services on behalf of NHS England and NHS Wales. Each Trust is led by a Board which is made up of Executive and Non-Executive Directors. The Executive Director is usually either the Chief Executive or Managing Director. Each Trust has Non-Executive Director's on their board to hold the board to account. A Non-Executive Director does not form part of the management of the Trust but is sometimes referred to as an independent director.

NHS Trust

An NHS Trust is also known as an Acute Trust and more commonly known as a Hospital, they provide secondary care services to patients. These services are commissioned by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG’s). There are over 150 NHS Trusts within England and over 100 of them are Foundation Trusts.

Foundation Trusts

NHS Foundation Trusts, first introduced in April 2004, are different to other NHS Trusts. They are independent legal organisations who have their own governance arrangements. They are accountable to local people, who can become members and governors. Each NHS Foundation Trust has a duty to consult and involve a board of governors (including patients, staff, members of the public, and partner organisations) in the strategic planning of the organisation. They are not regulated by central Government and are no longer performance managed by health authorities. As self-standing, self-governing organisations, NHS Foundation Trusts are in control of their own future. Foundation Trusts have financial freedom and they can retain monies not spent to invest in improving their Hospital and services. Foundation Trusts are overseen by Monitor who are a non-departmental public body established in 2004. They are the sector regulator of NHS-funded health care services. Their main duty is to protect and promote the interests of patients.