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Health committee questions benefit of foundation hospitals to patients

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.326.7397.1000/a (Published 10 May 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:1000
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. London

    The government announced a new scheme to help all hospitals achieve foundation status within the next five years this week, just days ahead of the second reading of the controversial Health and Social Care Bill in the House of Commons on 7 May.

    The NHS improvement programme will have a £200m ($321m; €285m) “help fund” with which to ensure that all NHS hospitals and primary care trusts that are rated with two, one, or zero stars achieve the three star rating needed to gain foundation status by 2008.

    However, in a report on foundation trusts, the House of Commons health committee casts doubt on whether all trusts will be eligible for foundation status in the time scale outlined by the government. It also raises several concerns about how the policy will work in practice and whether it will truly benefit patients.

    In the report, which was published on the day of the Commons …

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