Monitor response to results of the Annual Health Check 2007/08
22 Oct 2008 10:02 AM
NHS foundation trusts benefit patients
NHS foundation trusts have improved their performance for the third year in a row. According to Monitor, the independent foundation trust regulator, the results of the Healthcare Commission’s 2007-08 Annual Health Check show the benefits for patients of healthcare provided by NHS foundation trusts. These results provide a further incentive for all remaining NHS acute and mental health trusts to be ready to apply for foundation trust status.
- 38 out of the 42 organisations rated ‘excellent’ overall for both Quality of Services and Use of Resources are NHS foundation trusts
- 89 per cent of foundation trusts were rated ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ for Quality of Services
- 99 per cent of foundation trusts were rated as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ for Use of Resources
- The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust is the only organisation to achieve an overall rating of ‘excellent’ in both main categories for three consecutive years.
For comparison purposes, of the 62 NHS foundation trusts authorised at 31 March 2007, the number of those achieving ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ for quality of services has risen from 47 in 2007 to 55 in 2008. The number achieving ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ for use of resources has increased from 59 in 2007 to 61 in 2008.
Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is the only foundation trust rated as ‘weak’ for its performance on Quality of Services. Monitor’s 2006-07 review and consolidated accounts described how Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was allocated a red governance rating for the third quarter of 2006-07 due to significant failures in the management of its orthopaedic waiting lists. Following a detailed investigation, with external and independent oversight and periodic reporting to Monitor, the situation was satisfactorily resolved by December 2007.
One NHS foundation trust, Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases, received a ‘fair’ rating for use of resources.
The improving performance of NHS foundation trusts was welcomed by Dr William Moyes, Executive Chairman of Monitor:
“The debate on whether or not setting hospitals free from central management was a good idea is settled by these excellent results. The real potential however remains to be delivered. We are on a journey towards a genuinely devolved healthcare system in which autonomous providers deliver continuous improvements in the quality of care for patients. Foundation trusts have only begun to use their freedoms. They have the resources and platform from which to lead to delivery of the objectives of the Government’s recent NHS Next Stage Review.”
107 NHS foundation trusts now account for almost half of all NHS acute and mental healthcare delivery, but Dr Moyes remains concerned that the pace of progress towards an all foundation trust model of healthcare provision has restricted the achievement of the potential benefits across the NHS:
“The progress towards an all foundation trust model has not been fast enough and as such the potential benefits of providers as NHS foundation trusts have been delayed. Monitor’s assessment criteria are clear - we ask that trusts are financially robust and well governed. This should be achievable for all organisations delivering NHS care. Our requirements have remained consistent for over four years, but we are still not seeing enough well prepared applicants of sufficient quality.”
1. More information on Monitor’s risk ratings is available on our website
2. On 4 August 2008, Monitor issued a notice to the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases NHS Foundation Trust of the exercise of its intervention powers. This intervention was the result of our serious concerns as to financial performance and governance at this trust.
3. Previous Annual Health Check results show the improvement in performance.
- on quality of services 74% of NHS foundation trusts are rated as excellent or good
- on use of resources 96% of NHS foundation trusts are rated as excellent or good
- on quality of service 68% of NHS foundation trusts were rated excellent or good
- on use of resources 87% of NHS foundation trusts were rated excellent or good
4.Facts and figures about NHS foundation trusts:
- 45% of acute trusts are now NHS foundation trusts
- 54% of mental health trusts are now NHS foundation trusts
- The first wave of acute NHS foundation trusts were authorised by Monitor on 1 April 2004
- The first wave of mental health NHS foundation trusts were authorised on 1 May 2006
- NHS foundation trusts have now recruited over 1.2 million members
- NHS foundation trusts now employ over 350,000 staff
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