London health trust pins foundation hopes on Verve

The East London and City Mental Health Trust is to use Verve Communications to engage the local community during its bid for foundation hospital status.

The agency, which won a three-way pitch, will help the trust to consult properly with the ethnically diverse population of east London.

Plans under consideration include ensuring the trust has a presence at community events, and running stalls in shopping centres.

Events involving faith groups and third-sector organisations are also planned.

The consultation exercise will run from June until September. The trust must then demonstrate that the community’s feedback has informed its application for foundation status in a letter to the Health Secretary’s office. Independent regulator Monitor will test the trust’s governance and financial viability.

Verve director Clive Casey leads the account.

Foundation trusts were introduced in 2004, giving high-performing NHS organisations more autonomy from the central health service. Foundation status gives residents a say in the running of their local trust, which, it is argued, allows the hospital to better react to specific communities’ needs.

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