The Midlands' leading paediatric hospital has been awarded foundation status, giving it financial freedom from Government control from today.
Birmingham Children's Hospital is the latest city NHS trust to achieve this level of autonomy, following an 18-month assessment process to ensure it meets the required standards to become a foundation trust. The announcement, made by Health Minister Andy Burnham, comes as a second review is being conducted into the hospital's plans to close one of its wards used by Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services patients either in Birmingham or at Parkview in Moseley.
Only two other foundation trusts serve patients across the city – Heart of England, which runs Heartlands and Solihull hospitals, and University Hospital Birmingham, which includes the QE and Selly Oak sites.
Mr Burnham said: "I am delighted that Birmingham Children's Hospital has achieved foundation status, bringing the total number of NHS Foundation Trusts to 58.
"The local community in Birmingham and the Midlands will now be able to have a greater say in how their local hospital service is delivered.
"Securing sustained improvements in NHS performance can only happen when staff have more control and local communities have a bigger say over how healthcare services are run and delivered."
Paul O'Connor, the hospital's chief executive, added: "This represents a lot of hard work by a lot of people, and we're delighted with the decision.
"It shows Birmingham Children's Hospital has the highest standards and promises it a future reflecting those standards. We welcome the decision and embrace the opportunities it gives."