Published on: 18th December 2012
The sector regulator, Monitor, today sets out how it proposes to enforce the rules for which it will be responsible under the new NHS regulatory regime. Monitor’s priority in exercising its new functions is to ensure that patients’ interests are protected and promoted.
Powers conferred by the Health and Social Care Act 2012 will enable the regulator to take enforcement action against NHS foundation trusts and other providers who breach the requirements of Monitor’s new regime.
Monitor can require providers who breach their licence conditions to put things right, or risk having their licence revoked in certain circumstances. Monitor will also be able to impose financial penalties.
In addition, Monitor will be able to ensure that all NHS providers supply the information it needs in order to regulate the sector. The principles that will inform the way Monitor undertakes this task are set out in draft Enforcement Guidance on which Monitor will be consulting over the next eight weeks.
The final guidance will apply to the existing 144 foundation trusts, any NHS Trusts that achieve foundation status, and also to independent and third-sector providers of NHS-funded hospital and community healthcare services who will have to apply for a licence in future.
Adrian Masters, Managing Director of Sector Development at Monitor, said:
“We have regulated NHS foundation trusts for some years to ensure they are financially robust and well-led, in order to deliver quality care for patients. We are taking on new powers that will cover other NHS-funded providers as well, but our intention is to operate the new regime under similar principles to the current one.
“We are therefore seeking feedback on a new enforcement framework, which we will develop and refine over time as we learn through practice. However we are keen to start with a reasonably effective regime, building on our regulatory experience to date.”