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EIGHT NEW FOUNDATION TRUSTS AUTHORISED

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Health secretary Patricia Hewitt today gave her support for 12 more NHS trusts to apply for foundation status as ei...
Health secretary Patricia Hewitt today gave her support for 12 more NHS trusts to apply for foundation status as eight new foundation trusts were authorised by Monitor, the independent regulator.

The 12 trusts that have received the Secretary of State's support for foundation status are:

- Birmingham Children's Hospital NHS Trust

- County Durham and Darlington Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

- Humber Mental Health Teaching NHS Trust

- Milton Keynes General NHS Trust

- North Essex Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust

- North Hampshire Hospitals NHS Trust

- Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Trust

- The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust

- South London and Maudsley NHS Trust

- South Manchester University Hospitals NHS Trust

- St Helens and Knowsley Hospitals NHS Trust

- The Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust

These trusts now undergo an authorisation process by Monitor and they will announce the successful trusts in three batches on 1 November 2006, 1 December 2006 and 1 February 2007.

The eight trusts receiving authorisation as NHS Foundation Trusts from today are:

- Sheffield Children's NHS Foundation Trust

- Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

- James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

- Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

- Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology NHS Foundation trust

- Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust

- Luton and Dunstable Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

- Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust

It means there are now 48 NHS Foundation Trusts in total.

Ms Hewitt said:

'I'm delighted that eight more trusts have achieved foundation status and I have recommended twelve more trusts for consideration by Monitor for authorisation. Foundation trusts enjoy greater freedom from day-to-day central controls and the benefits this brings, such as the ability to innovate new ways of delivering services for patients.

'Local communities in the areas served by these newly authorised trusts will be able to have a greater say in how their local hospital services are delivered.'

Notes

1. Today's announcement by Monitor brings the total number of NHS Foundation Trusts to 48. A list of all NHS Foundation Trusts can be found at www.monitor-nhsft.gov.uk

2. The eight new foundation trusts have a combined total income of

£1.24bn.The 48 NHS Foundation Trusts in England have a combined total income of£9.48bn.

3. A report by the Healthcare Commission published in July 2005 found that the existing NHS Foundation Trusts had:

- increased the ability to plan and develop new services and improving accountability to their local populations;

- used their financial freedoms to gain access to capital investment and make quicker decisions to accelerate improvements to services, for example, offering specialist services in the community;

- increased local public and patient involvement by successfully recruiting members and electing members to the boards;

- mostly maintained their finances well within a more rigorous framework of financial management;

- maintained standards of care in terms of access to and quality of care; and

- maintained positive relationships with local commissioners and other local providers.

The report also concluded that NHS Foundation Trusts:

- have not destabilised local health services, for example by using unfair competition to attract staff;

- have not 'cherry picked' patients who are easier to treat;

- have continued to invest in staff education and training;

- have in the majority of cases continued to worked in partnership with other NHS services and organisations in the local health community.

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