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NHS foundation trusts perform best in Annual Health Check ratings

NHS foundation trusts have performed particularly well according to the results of the Healthcare Commission’s Annual Health Check ratings.

Nineteen trusts have been rated excellent for both quality of services and use of resources. All of these are NHS foundation trusts. In the previous Annual Health Check only two organisations - also NHS foundation trusts - achieved this rating.

The results for the 59 NHS foundation trusts (as at 31 March 2007) show that overall they delivered better results than non-foundation trusts in both key areas:

  • on quality of services 74% of NHS foundation trusts are rated as excellent or good, compared to 57% of non-foundation trusts.
  • on use of resources 96% of NHS foundation trusts are rated as excellent or good, compared to 27% of non-foundation trusts.

Commenting on the results, William Moyes, Chair of Monitor, said:

“These results endorse our view that with strong leadership and the right freedoms, NHS foundation trusts will deliver improvements for their patients. That is why we want more trusts to be in a position to apply for NHS foundation trust status as soon as possible. We acknowledge that some trusts are currently in a stronger position than others, but we do not believe foundation trust status should be impossible for any NHS trust to achieve.”

“As their regulator, it is very encouraging to see NHS foundation trusts performing so well, and we welcome their achievements. The foundation trust sector has continued to grow during the past twelve-months and these results indicate that NHS foundation trusts are providing high quality services for their patients.”

Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS foundation trust is the only NHS foundation trust rated weak for quality of service. This reflects our own risk ratings for the period, which provided an early indication of governance concerns at the trusts. As the regulator we have for some time been reviewing plans and progress with the trust board to ensure the situation is rectified.

As part of its processes Monitor has already identified areas of non-compliance with core standards. Monitor requires the boards of NHS foundation trusts to ensure all core standards are met as a requirement of their authorisation and that boards will take action where they are non-compliant with core standards. Where appropriate, Monitor requires NHS foundation trusts to put in place action plans to ensure compliance. This is backed by Monitor's powers of intervention
In the few NHS foundation trusts which were non-compliant with core standards in 2006-07 almost all have now implemented action plans to ensure compliance with core standards.
The Healthcare Commission will continue to work closely with Monitor to ensure that any problems around core standards are identified at the earliest opportunity.


1.The 19 NHS foundation trusts rated excellent for both use of resources and quality of services are:

  • Basingstoke and North Hampshire NHS Foundation Trust
  • Birmingham Children's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust
  • Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust
  • Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust
  • Liverpool Womens Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust
  • Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust
  • Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
  • Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • South Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • South Staffordshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

2. For media enquiries contact: Michael Moruzzi on 020 7340 2438 or 0779 5962933.
3. Monitor authorises and regulates NHS foundation trusts ensuring they are well-managed and financially strong in order to deliver high quality healthcare for patients.
4. Monitor was established in January 2004. It is independent of government and accountable to Parliament. Monitor’s functions and powers are set out in the National Health Service Act 2006.

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