New Clause 12 — De-authorisation of NHS foundation trusts

Part of New Member – in the House of Commons at 4:38 pm on 12th October 2009.

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Photo of Mike O'Brien Mike O'Brien Minister of State (Health Services), Department of Health 4:38 pm, 12th October 2009

Dr. David Colin-Thomé undertook a report on the issue, so a full report on the lessons to be learned was issued throughout the national health service. It was not issued as a ministerial directive; it was more a clinical examination of the issues that had arisen. We have now started an inquiry into the details of what happened locally in the trust. The inquiry is hearing evidence and will, we hope, report towards the end of this year or the start of next. I hope that that deals with the hon. Gentleman's point.

Improvements have been made: for example, Monitor has formalised and improved its contact with the Care Quality Commission, which needed to be done; and, working with the CQC and Monitor, we are tightening up the quality requirements for aspirant foundation trusts.

The amendments act on just two of the many lessons that we have learned from Mid Staffordshire. First, foundation trust status should not be seen as a one-way ticket. That is an important message which we need to put out off the back of the Mid Staffordshire incident. Secondly, transparent democratic accountability is vital when a foundation trust fails. Members want to know what Ministers will do to sort out the problem, and on that issue there were clearly some difficulties.

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