A process for deauthorising failing foundation trusts is set be put in place during the summer after a “proper” consultation process led by Monitor.
The foundation trust regulator launched a consultation on how the process would work last week.
It is a serious matter so the right thing is to do it properly with a 12 week consultation
The government fast tracked proposals for stripping failures of their status into the Health Act, after it was criticised for allowing scandal hit Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust to retain it. Ministers repeated their desire to ask Monitor to review Mid Staffs’ status after Robert Francis published results of his inquiry into the trust at the end of last month.
Monitor strategy director Adrian Masters told HSJ: “It is a serious matter so the right thing is to do it properly with a 12 week consultation.”
He said it was hoped an established process would be in place in the summer.
Mr Masters said of Mid Staffs: “We know from our conversations with the Care Quality Commission there is no immediate risk to patient safety.”
The act says Monitor can consider deauthorising a foundation when it is “seriously failing to comply” with standards, or with orders the regulator has given it. In addition the health secretary can ask Monitor to consider deauthorisation, but a trust will only be deauthorised if the regulator agrees.
The consultation says the regulator will consider health and safety of patients, quality of services, financial position and the way the foundation is run.
Monitor was initially unhappy with the government’s proposals on deauthorisation.
Former executive chair Bill Moyes, who left in January, feared they would “undermine the autonomy of the [FT] sector or independence of Monitor”.
Monitor said it was now satisfied the legislation makes clear it has the final decision, although the Conservatives complained the changes would allow ministers to “play politics” with foundations.