I am responding to the confederation press statement issued yesterday and to clarify the FTN position.

  As the elected Board representing nearly 200 Foundation Trust and Aspirant FTs we have considered the implications of the Coalition Government’s health policies for Foundation Trusts. We believe that the changes will be profound for the NHS. As a result we are proposing the following to our members:

  • In recognition of the Governments strong support for Foundation Trusts set out in the recent white paper and the other major changes proposed there will be an even greater role for the FTN as the trade association of and voice for Foundation Trusts nationally and locally.
  • We believe therefore the next and natural phase of development for the FTN is to become a fully independent body working in partnership with the NHS Confederation to develop an alliance of organisations concerned with the health and social care system in England and to collaborate on issues of mutual interest.

We have recently been informed about an alternative proposal developed by the Confederation but not yet agreed by its trustees which includes replacing the FTN Board and establishing one controlling board for the confederation as a whole.  Should the trustees agree that proposal then FTN members will wish to consider both options.  We agreed yesterday with the Confederation not to finalise a vote by FTN members on the FTN board’s proposal until the trustees had considered the situation at their next meeting.

In the light of the above I am extremely disappointed that Sue Slipman was informed yesterday by the acting Chief Executive of the Confederation that she was being suspended with immediate effect. I am most concerned that this turn of events could be damaging for all concerned, not least Sue Slipman and her team. I have called an emergency meeting of the FTN Board to consider how we move forward from here with our members.

Peter Griffiths

Chairman of FTN

12 October 2010

Foundation Trust Network considers Confed split as director suspended