“Primary purpose” of foundation hospitals is to treat NHS patients

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: (Published 19 October 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:856
  1. Nicholas Timmins
  1. London

    What will a foundation hospital be?

    It will be a new form of non-profit distributing public interest company, limited by guarantee, and independent of Whitehall control. It will have a “stakeholder council,” likely to be about 30 strong, which will include patients, locally elected residents, NHS staff, and representatives of local primary care trusts, the NHS purchasers. This council will appoint the management board.

    What freedoms will foundation hospitals have?

    They will manage their own assets, retain surpluses, and decide their own pay and conditions. Their licence will specify that their “primary purpose” is to treat NHS patients—on the basis of clinical need, not ability to pay.

    They will be subject …

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