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The Chancellor of the Exchequer said recently that money borrowed by foundation trusts can only come out of the total pot of money available for borrowing in the NHS. Will the Minister clarify whether that money has been taken away from a general NHS capital pool? If it has, what proportion of that pool does it represent? Will the creation of this special funding facility impact on the availability of capital to non-foundation trusts in the coming financial year or in future financial years?
I intervened on the Minister to express anxiety that we would be creating a situation in which foundation trusts would be at an advantage, owing to their ability to retain funding, and that we would be creating a two-tier system. Will the national tariff be introduced before all hospitals become foundation hospitals? In what time frame does the Minister expect all hospitals to become foundation trusts? Will the Minister set the introduction of the national tariff in context against
the process of expanding foundation trust status to other hospitals? If that is the case, will the Minister tell us what provision he expects to make—
It being twenty-five minutes past Eleven o'clock, The Chairman adjourned the Committee without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order.
Adjourned till this day at half-past Two o'clock.