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Monitor publishes new provider licence
Monitor yesterday signaled a new approach to regulation of the healthcare sector with the publication of its standard licence conditions.
The licence, which will be issued to foundation trusts and will be effective from 1 April 2013, is a tool Monitor will use to regulate foundation trusts and other NHS-funded providers under the Health and Social Care Act 2012.
The licence sets out the obligations providers will have to meet in order to assist Monitor to fulfil its principal duty to protect and promote the interests of patients. The licence conditions will help Monitor set prices for NHS care; enable integrated care; prevent anti-competitive behaviour which is against the interests of patients; and help commissioners ensure patients have access to NHS services when providers run into severe difficulties. The licence conditions will also allow Monitor to continue to regulate the way foundation trusts are governed.
Monitor has conducted a full consultation and engagement process to take on board the views of providers and other interested parties.
The licence is part of the wider regulatory regime under which Monitor will work with the Care Quality Commission and the NHS Commissioning Board to enable providers to deliver quality care.
Dr David Bennett, Chief Executive at Monitor, said:
"It is important that we create a balanced system of oversight in health care that puts the protection and promotion of the interests of patients at the heart of the regulatory process.
Our goal is to have a licence which will allow us to operate as an evidence-based and patient-focussed regulator in partnership with the Care Quality Commission and NHS Commissioning Board and enable licensees to focus on patient care."
Notes to editors
We expect that all NHS foundation trusts will be required to hold a licence from April 2013, to replace their current terms of Authorisation. Foundation trusts will be automatically issued licences by Monitor in line with the Act.
Other providers of NHS services will need to apply to Monitor for a licence. Monitor expects they will need to hold a licence from April 2014 subject to confirmation by the Department of Health.
Monitor recently conducted a consultation seeking views on its draft 'Enforcement Guidance' which explains the actions and process the organisation proposes to take when providers do not meet their licence conditions.
Monitor is the sector regulator of NHS-funded health care services. Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 its fundamental duty is to protect and promote the interests of people who use them. Information about Monitor’s new role can be found here.
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