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NHS: Patient Care

Volume 704: debated on Tuesday 7 October 2008

My right honourable friend the Minister of State, Department of Health (Ben Bradshaw) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

On 10 September 2008, the Government launched a consultation exercise on the regime for unsustainable National Health Service providers.

The consultation sets out details for tackling poor performance in NHS hospitals and trusts while protecting services for patients. It follows the publication in June this year of Developing the NHS Performance Regime, which outlined the steps that would be taken if an organisation underperformed, and picks up at the point where an organisation has failed to turn its performance around.

The regime aims to:

underpin the NHS performance regime;

ensure the public receive high-quality services by supporting quality regulation;

reinforce the NHS foundation trust regime; and

protect patients and staff from failing services.

The regime is the last step for providers who are subject to previous recovery actions by Monitor or under the NHS performance regime. The consultation proposes that a trust special administrator would be appointed to take control of the trust to ensure that it continues to provide safe and effective services for patients. The trust special administrator would also be required to produce a report and to consult swiftly on proposals for the future of the trust.

The consultation will run until 3 December 2008. A copy of the consultation document has been placed in the Library, and copies are available to honourable Members from the Vote Office.