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Sunday 23rd October 2016

Top hospitals told to improve

1st April 2010

A patients group has raised questions over the elite status of foundation trusts after 12 were among a group told by the Care Quality Commission to improve or face tough sanctions.


The Patients Association said it showed that too much emphasis was being placed on financial performance rather than quality of care.

All 378 trusts in England need a licence from the CQC to work in the NHS under a new regime from 1 April.

The regulator attached conditions to 22 - 12 of which were foundation trusts - meaning they could face fines or suspension if they do not act.

Katherine Murphy, director of the Patients Association, said: "Foundation trusts are meant to be the premier league of the NHS. But these results call into question the assessment process and actual status.

"We believe there is too much emphasis placed on financial performance rather than quality of care. The foundation trust regime needs looking into."

Under CQC registration trusts are assessed against 16 standards and having conditions attached means they will face regular assessments and run the risk of fines, prosecution or services being suspended. They also have to show they are financially viable and can provide good services.

Since 2004, almost 130 trusts have been given foundation status but confidence in the process has already been questioned because of scandals at the Mid Staffordshire and Basildon and Thurrock trusts, both of which have foundation status.

Monitor, which is in charge of the foundation trust process, said the results were disappointing.


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