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Foundation Trusts

Volume 447: debated on Tuesday 13 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions she has had with Monitor on financial deficits in foundation trusts; what the content of those discussions were; and if she will make a statement. (75056)

I am advised by the chairman of Monitor, whose statutory name is the Independent Regulator of NHS foundation trusts, that national health service foundation trusts delivered an encouraging financial performance in the 2005-06 financial year.

Monitor published on 5 June its full-year update on the unaudited financial performance of NHS foundation trusts, which is publicly available on its website (www.monitor-nhsft.gov.uk). The chairman of Monitor has advised me that, in aggregate, the 32 NHS foundation trusts in operation during the 2005-06 financial year made a deficit of £24 million on a turnover of £6.8 billion. This figure includes the substantial deficit incurred by University College London Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH).

Excluding the performance of UCLH, which made a £35.9 million deficit and is implementing a financial recovery plan that will return it to break-even by 2007-08, the remaining 31 NHS foundation trusts generated a £12 million surplus.

Monitor attributes the strong performance of the NHS foundation trust sector principally to the rigours of foundation status.