Recommendation 68

Quality and sustainability as a pre-condition of foundation trust authorisation

No NHS trust should be given support to make an application to Monitor unless, in addition to other criteria, the performance manager (the Strategic Health Authority cluster, the Department of Health team, or the NHS Trust Development Authority)  is satisfied that the organisation currently meets Monitor’s criteria for authorisation and that it is delivering a sustainable service which is, and will remain, safe for patients, and is compliant with at least fundamental standards.

The Board of the NHS Trust Development Authority will only approve a trust’s application to be passed to Monitor, when it is satisfied that the trust has clearly demonstrated that it is able to provide high quality care for patients, and has the right business plan in place to ensure it can continue to deliver well into the future.

The NHS Trust Development Authority has set out its rigorous process for assessing aspirant foundation trusts in its accountability framework, Delivering High Quality Care For All, of which the quality and sustainability of services is the focus. The NHS Trust Development Authority considers information from the public consultation, the Care Quality Commission, NHS England, the relevant clinical commissioning group(s) and other national and local system partners prior to the NHS Trust Development Authority board making a decision as to whether a foundation trust application will be supported. No provider will go forward for foundation trust authorisation unless the Care Quality Commission, through its Chief Inspector of Hospitals, judges that the quality of their services is ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’.

No further update is required. Please see response to the recommendation in Hard Truths