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Frequently asked questions

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Membership queries

Q. How much does membership cost?
A. Membership is completely free! There are no subscriptions or hidden charges.

Q. Will my details be given to others?
A. No, the information you provide is solely for use by us and will remain confidential. It will be managed in accordance with the Data Protection Act (1998). It will not be given to third parties or used for marketing purposes. Your details will however, be held on a public register unless you inform us you wish otherwise.

Q. What does being a member involve and will it take up much of my time?
A. How much you choose to take part as a member is entirely up to you. You may just want to receive information from time to time and vote every three years for someone to represent you on the council of governors. You may wish to be notified of events or meeting being held by the trust, which may be of interest to you, or you may wish to be an active member and have your details logged with our involvement team who will contact you further. You may even wish to consider standing as a governor yourself.

Q. Why should I join? I have no experience of mental health services.
A. Essentially we are here to enable people to enjoy good mental health, and this is something we are asking everyone from the community to support. Statistically, you are just as likely to know someone who has received treatment from mental health services as any other health services in the country. The phrase ‘mental illness’ has very strong stereotypes, but covers everything from mild depression, to dementia in the elderly and drug and alcohol addiction.

Q. I am already a member of another foundation trust, can I be a member of Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT) too?
A. Yes. You can be a member of our trust so long as you live in, or the surrounding areas of, Lincolnshire.

Q. Can we as a couple/family/household have joint membership?
A. No. However, it is easy to sign you all up and we can arrange for only one of each mailing to be sent to your address (i.e. members’ magazine) to avoid duplication of information and help the trust achieve its environmental objectives.

Council of governors queries

Q. Will the council of governors have any real powers?
A. Yes. The powers are laid out in our Trust Constitution and are legally binding. Click here to read our constitution.

Q. Do governors have to represent their whole constituency?
A. If a governor has been elected by a constituency they must fairly represent and put forward the views of the constituency, even if they differ from their own personal views.

Q. How much are governors paid?
A. Governors are not paid to undertake their role – it is undertaken on a voluntary basis. Governors are however, eligible to receive expenses they incur such as mileage allowance or public transport costs.

Q. How long are governors in post?
A. Each governor will serve on the Council of Governors for up to three years. Appointments to the Council of Governors will be phased to ensure continuous representation (Click here to view the elections page for more information). Each governor can stand for re-election for two further terms (a maximum of nine years).

Q. Who is the Council of Governors accountable to?
A. The Council of Governors is accountable to the local community and Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s members.

Q. Will staff governors be given their time back for attending meetings out of work hours?
A. Yes. There is also facilities agreement in place to allow staff to attend meetings during working hours.

Foundation Trust queries

Q. Isn’t foundation trust status just a step towards privatisation?
A. No. Our services remain firmly in the NHS. We are committed to the NHS and would not support any plan to privatise its services.

Q. What financial freedom does an NHS foundation trust have?
A. The financial freedoms given to NHS foundation trusts apply to decisions on managing the existing assets of the organisation and allows access to a wide range of funding to improve and expand services, and support innovation. A foundation trust can make a surplus, or borrow to invest in new services.

Q. Can an NHS foundation trust keep any surplus it makes?
A. Yes. An NHS foundation trust can put the extra money back into local services and invest in future service development. Investment must also comply with the NHS foundation trust financial regime.

Q. What happens if foundation trust status doesn’t work out?
A. The role of Monitor, the independent regulator, is to work alongside the trusts to ensure foundation trust status does work. Where Monitor has serious concerns that an individual NHS foundation trust is in breach of its terms of authorisation it has statutory powers to intervene and take action to prevent problems occurring in the future.

In the unlikely circumstances that the NHS foundation trust does not succeed, Monitor would work with us to make sure that a new organisation is established to continue to provide health services. As is the case with NHS trusts, if something goes wrong it will primarily be the responsibility of the organisation itself to take appropriate remedial action and to prevent future problems by learning the lessons and sharing this information with others.

We have a strong financial position. All statutory duties have been achieved in every year of our existence. Over this period our income has steadily increased and services have been expanded to deliver key national mental health targets.

We have a strong record in delivering high quality services. Click here to see how we are performing.