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NHS Foundation Trusts

Volume 458: debated on Monday 12 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many members there are of each NHS foundation hospital trust in England; and what the annual cost of servicing the membership has been in each case. (121479)

I am advised by the chairman of Monitor (the statutory name of which is the Independent Regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts) that the most up-to-date membership figures for each national health service foundation trust are contained in Monitor's recent submission to the Health Committee's inquiry into patient and public involvement in the NHS, a copy which is available in the Library (HC 278-11). At the time of Monitor’s submission in January 2007, there were approximately 625,000 members of the then 54 NHS foundation trusts.

The annual cost of servicing the membership of individual NHS foundation trusts depends on a number of factors, including their size. Detailed figures may be obtained by contacting the chairs of individual NHS foundation trusts direct.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 20 February 2007, Official Report, columns 672-73W, on NHS foundation trusts, if she will list references to the growing body of evidence that performance and responsiveness have improved across the national health service foundation trust sector. (124535)

Monitor (the statutory name of which is the Independent Regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts) routinely publishes information on the performance of national health service foundation trusts on its website at www.monitor-nhsft.gov.uk. Key publications include “NHS Foundation Trusts: Report for six-month period to 30 September 2006” and “Review and Consolidated Accounts of NHS Foundation Trusts 2005-06”, the latter of which was laid before Parliament on 12 December 2006. The financial results for the nine-month period to 31 December 2006 are due to be published in mid-March 2007.

The results of the 2005-06 annual health check exercise by the Healthcare Commission, which are publicly available on its website at www.healthcarecommission.org.uk, show that foundation trusts are delivering improved care for patients required by their commissioners and to nationally prescribed standards, and value for money.

Other evidence includes publications by the Foundation Trust Network at www.foundationtrustnetwork.org such as “Foundation Trusts: two years on” which provides further independent evidence that foundation trusts are demonstrating the capacity for improving patient services that their greater freedom and independent corporate governance brings.