Published on: 31 July 2012
The Health and Social Care Act 2012 makes changes to the way NHS service providers will be regulated, and gives Monitor new duties and powers. These changes include the introduction of a Monitor licence for providers of NHS services.
Monitor's provider licence will be our key tool for regulating providers of NHS services.
The licence will set out various conditions providers must meet, including conditions relating to: pricing; preventing anti-competitive behaviour which is against the interests of patients; enabling integrated care; supporting commissioners to maintain service continuity; and the governance of foundation trusts.
On 31 July 2012 we launched a major consultation on the new NHS provider licence. The consultation closed on 23 October 2012.
In early 2012 we engaged with stakeholders on the licence and published a range of documents, held workshops and met with a number of stakeholders to discuss our proposals. The consultation set out the thinking behind the latest proposals and explained changes we have made following feedback from our engagement to date.
Over the coming months we will be publishing a number of other consultations and reports on different aspects of our future role – see here for further information.
The Department of Health has recently consulted on licensing providers of NHS-funded services. This includes a section on which providers will need to hold a licence, and which will be exempt.
The draft exemptions policy means that it may be the case that a provider is exempt but for the fact that it provides some Commissioner Requested Services. In designing its licence, Monitor must decide whether, in this scenario, all of the licence should apply to the provider, or only the General and Continuity of Services licence conditions.
The main argument for all of the licence conditions applying is that that approach is more straightforward – a provider is either licensed or it is not. The main argument against is that it is more proportionate, and does not discourage new providers of Commissioner Requested Services from providing these services, if only the General and Continuity of Services licence conditions apply. On balance, we are minded to conclude that, where a provider would be exempt but for the fact it is supplying Commissioner Requested Services, only the General and Continuity of Services licence conditions would apply. We asked an additional question on this during the consultation: Do you support Monitor's provisional conclusion on the application of the licence where, but for providing Commissioner Requested Services, a licence holder would be exempt from the requirement to hold a licence? Are there any unintended consequences of our conclusion?
We are currently reading and considering all responses to the consultation and, when we publish the final licence, we will explain how your comments and views influenced the final licence.
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