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Regulator challenges government about instructions to foundation hospitals

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 28 February 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:468
  1. Nicholas Timmins, public policy editor, Financial Times

A battle has broken out about the operational independence of foundation trusts—one that goes to the heart of the government’s NHS reforms.

The argument has arisen after the Department of Health wrote to all hospitals, including foundation trusts, telling them to appoint extra matrons, to undertake “deep cleans” of hospitals, and to take other measures announced by ministers at the time of the Labour’s party conference to tackle infections acquired by patients in hospitals.

William Moyes, chairman of Monitor, the foundation trust regulator, has protested that such instructions amount to a return by the Department of Health to line management of foundation …

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