Foundation trusts may be ‘de-authorised’ and returned to normal NHS status if they are deemed to have been mis-managed, health secretary Andy Burnham has announced.
Monitor, the foundation trust watchdog, could be given new legal powers to remove foundation trusts’ ‘flexibilities and freedoms’, as part of the government’s response to the failings at Mid-Staffordshire Foundation Trust.
Mr Burnham said he would consult on giving ministers the right to refer FTs to Monitor if they had concerns over their performance, and obliging Monitor to justify its decision if it took no action.
The health secretary also announced a new independent inquiry into events at Mid-Staffs, which will focus on giving patients, or relatives of patients who died at the hospital, a chance to raise questions.
Mr Burnham’s announcements coincided with the Care Quality Commission’s three-month stock-take report into progress at Mid-Staffs. It said mortality rates were improving, but other areas, including the appointment of more nursing staff, needed to be addressed ‘urgently’.