The relative performance of NHS foundation trusts compared to NHS trusts

30 July 2015

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  • Foundation Trusts were created to give the most successful NHS trusts more autonomy and more freedom to provider better care to their local population.
  • Across a number of quality measures, Foundation Trusts and NHS trusts perform similarly.
  • In patient satisfaction Foundation Trusts seem to outperform NHS trusts.
  • There is large variation for both types of provider between the best and worst performing trust. 
Boxplot charts comparing Foundation trusts to NHS Trusts

The first Foundation Trusts (FTs) were created in 2004 to give the most successful NHS trusts more autonomy to provide better care to their local population. They are accountable to different regulators, have different rules about their finances, and different governance structures.

However, across a number of quality measures, Foundation Trusts and NHS trusts perform similarly. For the proportion of patients receiving harm free care NHS trusts seem to outperform FTs. However, in patient satisfaction FTs seem to outperform NHS trusts. But the differences are not very large, and both groups include challenged providers.

Data sources

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