Airtrack depot & Ashford/St Peter’s Foundation Status

This was discussed at the West Area Meeting last Thursday.  It was good to see a number of residents present, four of whom spoke and spoke really well and gave reasons for such a development is not appropriate.  This matter will not be determined by the Council but I do urge anyone with comment to feed them back.  I hope that the Council will set up a page on the website and will chase this.

The next day, this item was front page news.  I agree with what Alan Keen says.  I wish him well in anything he can do with the Secretary of State and very much hope that he raises this matter, when he can, on the floor of the House of Commons.

We later discussed the ambition for Ashford/St Peter’s to become a Foundation.  Very interesting.

One of the more interesting Area Committee meetings for me.

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3 Responses to “Airtrack depot & Ashford/St Peter’s Foundation Status”

  1. Mark Savage Says:

    I was away last Thursday, Mark, otherwise I would certainly have attended this meeting. It would have been a rare occasion when I could, as your committee meetings normally co-incide with the “After Eight” house group I lead at my church.

    However, I’d be interested to know a bit more about your views, and party policy on, the intention of Ashford and St Peter’s to become a Foundation Trust hospital. An application form to become a “member” came through the door for me (though, strangely, not for my brother who is also a registered elector at the same address). I couldn’t decide whether to fill it in or not, because the Foundation Status issue seems to have fallen off the political agenda for a while.

    What are the advantages, if any, for individual residents and users of NHS Hospital services in Feltham if the two hospitals allocated to us become a Foundation? What, indeed, is the difference between being a foundation and a Trust? Will we lose anything, and any rights, as a result of this change of status.

    These are important issues, I think, but our politicians are failing to address them at present and there is, I suspect, widespread ignorance too of the various types of hospital governance.

    Basically- and try to give the answer without too much party spin- should I fill in and return this form, or not?

  2. Mark Bowen Says:


    Thanks for the comment.

    As is typical for my blog (and for me), here is a spin-free answer. I raised two points at the meeting:

    1. We were told that one of the advantages of foundation status was that at present if there is a surplus, this goes back to the centre. Foundation Status allows you to keep that surplus. I asked whether there was any catch, as I know that the Council withdrawing from the Housing Revenue Account would not be that simple. The answer was on the lines of that it was not too good to be true and that loads of others are trying to secure Foundation Status. I am not certain that most people would have been reassured enough based on this;

    2. I took the view that there should be an extra Board Member from the London Borough of Hounslow and that basing the membership on population alone was not sufficient in addressing concerns of residents in this area.

    It sounds like you know more than I do about the technical aspects of this matter but I have been comfortable with the principle of Foundation Status over a number of years. I support this move.

    You asked about my party. Here is the relevant page and I suggest you download the Our Plan for NHS Improvement document, which makes clear its support for Foundation Status:

    I think that you should complete the form and get down any concerns that you may have. I hope that local residents will agree with me that there should be an extra Member on the Board who resides within the London Borough of Hounslow.


  3. Mark Savage Says:

    Thanks for your prompt reply, Mark, and helpful clarification.

    Contrary to your assumption, I know no more about the “technical” aspects of this than you- I have no involvement with the NHS other than as a British taxpayer and user. Like most men, I suspect, I try to avoid hospitals like the plague as a patient, but I recognise their importance to the community as a whole.

    I think it’s crucial for the borough to be represented by an extra member, particularly in respect of Ashford Hospital. Despite the regrettable downgrading of its facilities in recent years, it is a vital and much-loved local resource.

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