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Monitor begins engagement on proposed new provider licence

Monitor has yesterday published a document which encourages stakeholders to contribute to its early thinking on one element of its proposed future role. Developing the new NHS provider licence – a framework document is intended to contribute to the debate and understanding of the proposals relating to Monitor in the Health and Social Care Bill 2011.

If the Bill becomes law Monitor is likely to need to license providers relatively quickly – by October 2012 for NHS foundation trusts and April 2013 for all other health sector providers.  It is therefore starting to think about the shape and content of the proposed licensing regime. The framework document is intended to maximise the opportunity for all stakeholders to contribute to that thinking at an early stage, without pre-empting Parliament’s decision.

It sets out Monitor’s initial thinking on:

  • its engagement process;
  • its current and new functions;
  • the proposed structure of the licence; and
  • the licensing process that Monitor would operate.

Commenting on the publication of the document, Dr David Bennett, Chair of Monitor, said:

"Our priority is to ensure that our work results in better health services for patients. To do that successfully we need to make sure we’re listening and engaging with a wide range of stakeholders as early as possible. That’s why I’ve been meeting with leaders from across the health sector to understand their views. Now we want everyone with an interest in how the licensing regime will work to contribute to our thinking. The Government’s proposals present an exciting challenge for Monitor and this is the first step in getting input on how we respond to that challenge."

Licensing providers would be integral both to Monitor’s proposed new role, and to its existing role as independent regulator of NHS foundation trusts. The licence would be the mechanism which enables Monitor to undertake its main functions as set out in the Bill, including:

  • regulating prices;
  • enabling integration and protecting against anti-competitive behaviour;
  • supporting service continuity; and
  • continuing our current regulation of NHS foundation trust for a transitional period.

The licence would include conditions related to these functions and would form part of a joint licence with the Care Quality Commission, which will remain responsible for regulating the quality and safety of all providers.

Notes

  1. For media enquiries please contact Michael Moruzzi on 020 7340 2438 or Michael.moruzzi@monitor-nhsft.gov.uk
  2. If you have specific queries about the framework document, please email: licensing@monitor-nhsft.gov.uk.
  3. The framework document is the first in a series of documents designed to encourage stakeholders to contribute to early thinking on the provider licence. It is not a formal consultation on proposals. Monitor will only launch a formal consultation if the Health and Social Care Bill is passed by Parliament.
  4. More information about Monitor’s proposed new role, as set out in the Health and Social Care Bill 2011, is available on our website here: http://www.monitor-nhsft.gov.uk/home/monitors-new-role
  5. Monitor was established in January 2004. It is independent of government and accountable to Parliament. Monitor’s current functions and powers as the Independent Regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts are set out in the National Health Service Act 2006.
  6. Monitor is now on Twitter - follow us @MonitorUpdate

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