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NHS: Foundation Trusts

House of Lords written question – answered on 8th November 2011.

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Photo of Lord Warner Lord Warner Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government (a) what are the hospital trusts that have applied to the Department of Health for additional funding to apply for foundation trust status; (b) what is the amount of funding each trust has sought (including any amounts to cope with expected deficits in the current year); (c) what is the date when each trust expects to apply for foundation trust status if they receive the funding; and (d) when decisions will be taken on each of those applications.

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there are any hospital trusts that have not applied for additional financial support to become a foundation trust.

Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The department is currently exploring the potential provision of financial support to specific National Health Service trusts to achieve foundation trust status. The framework and process by which such support might be provided has not yet been finalised.

In relation to any support provided to NHS trusts, the department has outlined four key tests that they would have to meet:

the problems they face must be exceptional and beyond those faced by other organisations;they must show that the problems are historic and that they have a clear plan to manage their resources in the future;they must show that they are delivering high levels of annual productivity savings; and they must deliver clinically viable, high quality services, including low waiting times and other performance measures.

One means by which such financial support may be provided is to assist NHS trusts in meeting the liquidity requirements for authorisation as a foundation trust once all the other assessment criteria are met.

Additionally, a small number of NHS trusts with financial issues to address also have a private finance initiative scheme that is a contributory factor to their viability. The department is continuing to work with these NHS trusts to determine an appropriate model to support these organisations to achieve foundation trust status, providing they meet the four tests.

The dates when aspirant NHS Trusts will submit an application to the department are detailed in their tripartite formal agreements which are published locally by the relevant NHS trust. Monitor's assessment process commences after the Secretary of State has given his support to the application.

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