Health secretary Andy Burnham plans to change the law so ministers can instruct foundation trust regulator Monitor to intervene where organisations are failing.

The announcement was made as Mr Burnham launched an independent inquiry into the failures at Mid Staffordshire foundation trust.

Speaking to HSJ Mr Burnham said that inquiry would “focus on individual [patient] cases and gather the threads together” to help the hospital rebuild local confidence and develop a “culture of caring”.

But ministers have also been alarmed at how slow regulators were in detecting the failures at Mid Staffordshire, particularly at picking up local public concern.

The government will now consult on law changes both to enable Monitor to de-authorise foundations itself and to allow ministers to instruct it to do so.

In a statement to the Commons on Tuesday Mr Burnham said: “It is important that where there is public concern, the secretary of state is able to express his views and request that Monitor considers intervention in a particular way… If Monitor disagrees with the approach suggested by ministers, [it] should be obliged to justify this position publically.”

Mr Burnham told HSJ this was not “a retreat on FT policy, but a strengthening and correction of something that should have been there in the first place”.

He said Monitor would have a continued and strengthened role but the change would “recognise that FTs are still part of the wider NHS system which is the context in which [ministers] have responsibility.”

A Monitor spokeswoman said: “It is entirely legitimate that the secretary of state should be able express serious concerns about a foundation trust’s performance. The decision to de-authorise continues to rest with Monitor, but it is only right that we should be required to explain any decision we take publically.”