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NHS Foundation Trusts

Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health in what ways he plans to accelerate the rate at which existing NHS trusts achieve NHS Foundation Trust status, as referred to on page 61 of High Quality Care for All, Cm 7432; and whether it is his policy that all hospital trusts should be able to apply for NHS Foundation Trust status by the end of 2008. (221070)

The Government want all acute and mental health trusts to attain the national health service foundation trust (NHSFT) standard at the earliest opportunity.

Good progress is being made. There are already 103 NHSFTs which account for over 45 per cent. of all eligible acute and mental health trusts. By the end of this financial year, we expect over half of all these trusts to become NHSFTs. Strategic health authorities are charged with delivering NHSFTs. Increasing the flow of strong applicants to Monitor (the statutory name of which is the independent regulator of NHS foundation trusts) is a priority and we are considering options for accelerating the rate of NHSFT authorisations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what powers strategic health authority medical directors, as referred to in paragraph 29 of High Quality Care for All, Cm 7432, will have to direct service planning in NHS foundation trusts. (221117)

The appointment of strategic health authority (SHA) medical directors does not alter the existing relationship between SHAs and national health service foundation trusts (NHS FTs). SHAs have no powers of direction over NHS FTs. SHA medical directors will provide medical leadership and oversee on-going work by the SHAs to implement their local clinical visions.