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Foundation Trusts

Volume 402: debated on Friday 4 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he plans to take to ensure that staff working in non-foundation trusts are not recruited by foundation trusts; and if he will make a statement on the creation of competition between hospitals. [105951]

National health service foundation trusts will play an important part in promoting career development within the NHS and staff will continue to move between employers as part of normal career development. There will be a number of safeguards to prevent development of inappropriate competition between NHS employers in a particular area:

All NHS foundation trusts will, presuming it is agreed, implement the new "Agenda for Change" national pay system for the NHS;
Other local NHS organisations will be able to exercise influence over the running of a NHS foundation trust through its membership and governance arrangements;
NHS foundation trusts will be subject to a statutory duty of partnership just like other NHS trusts;
NHS foundation trusts will provide services at the national tariff rate and will be subject to a system of financial flows that operates on the principle of payment by results. They will not be able to increase charges for clinical services to reflect higher wage costs;
Under the national tariff, any cost increases relating to enhanced terms and conditions for staff would have to be absorbed by NHS foundation trusts themselves and it will not be in their interest to take action leading to local wage inflation.