Recommendation 63

Publication of Monitor side letters and ratings

Monitor should publish all side letters and any rating issued to trusts as part of their authorisation or licence.

Monitor has published all side letters since 2011 and risk ratings are published on a quarterly basis. Side letters are issued in certain circumstances where an applicant meets the statutory requirements for authorisation but there are matters that need to be addressed within a specified timeframe. The letter will detail the issue that needs to be addressed and the monitoring arrangements to be put in place to ensure delivery.

The welcome letter to a newly authorised trust sets out risk ratings for the first year. The quarterly risk rating is published on Monitor’s web-site in the first quarter following authorisation. Monitor’s risk-based framework assigns risk ratings to each NHS foundation trust on the basis of its forward plan and in-year performance against that plan. Monitor uses these ratings to guide the intensity of monitoring and to signal Monitor’s degree of concern with specific issues identified, and consequently the risk of breach of the continuity of services or governance conditions of the licence.

No further update is required. Please see response to the recommendation above