14/05/2003

29 hospitals apply for foundation trust status

It has been revealed that 29 hospitals have applied for the controversial NHS foundation trust status.

The hospitals will submit their applications by autumn 2003 and the government is expected to make its decision on which can be given the green light by April 2004.

Under current plans, all hospitals will have the opportunity of becoming a Foundation Trust over the next four or five years. These initial applications for trust status will be subject to Parliament passing the Health and Social Care Bill.

Health Secretary Alan Milburn today stressed the importance ministers would place on trusts being able to raise standards across the NHS.

Mr Milburn said that freeing NHS Foundation Trusts from day-to-day Whitehall control would "encourage greater local innovation in how services are delivered" and give communities a far greater say in how hospitals are run.

He also said that communities in poorer areas "will particularly benefit". Twelve out of the 29 NHS trusts are in the bottom quarter of the most deprived areas in the country.

"Where these first 29 lead I hope the rest of the NHS will follow," he said.

"Subject of course to Parliament I want every NHS hospital to have the opportunity of becoming an NHS Foundation Trust over the next four to five years."

The health and social care bill, which contains the plans to create foundation hospitals, was passed on Monday night by 304 votes to 230.

The narrow 74-vote victory reflected one of the biggest domestic rebellions since Labour was elected in 1997 as around 30 Labour MPs joined the Opposition.

Health union Unison is opposed to the proposals as they believe that it is the beginning of a two-tier health srevice.

The union's Head of Health, Karen Jennings, said: “We are not convinced that the foundations are the way forward, so far as delivering improvements to the health service.

“And obviously a number of MPs and the public are not convinced either. The future of the National Health Service is at stake. We won’t sit back and see it broken up.”

(GMcG)

Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

04 January 2005
Five further health trusts make foundation grade
Following approval by the independent regulatory body, five Trusts have been granted Foundation Trust status.
10 July 2014
Staff Member At Mental Health Unit Killed In Stabbing
A man in his 60s has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a staff member at a mental health hospital died in a stabbing. The female victim, who has not yet been named, is understood to have been attacked at the inpatient unit of Wotton Lawn Hospital. According to reports the staff member was attacked at about 07:30 on Wednesday morning.
12 October 2006
'Health Check' finds some trusts in poor state
The results of the Healthcare Commission's first annual health check show that many NHS trusts are performing well, but there was room for improvement in more than half the trusts which were told to "raise their game".
16 January 2004
First wave of Foundation Trust hospitals announced
Health Secretary John Reid today confirmed that he will support 24 NHS Trusts in their bids to become the first wave of NHS Foundation Trusts.
06 May 2003
£200m injected into NHS ahead of crucial vote
The health secretary is to inject £200 million into under-performing hospitals and in so doing sweeten the pill of the government's foundation trust proposals for backbenchers and health professionals.