Foundation trusts may risk standards of care when appointing senior doctors

The Government’s new flagship foundation trusts could be risking standards of care by abandoning traditional methods of appointing senior doctors, according to the British Medical Association (BMA).

Trusts that are granted foundation status, freeing them of many NHS controls, do not need to have the usual expert input when they take on new consultants, the BMA said.

However, consultants appointed to work in foundation trusts must be on the specialist register.

Other trusts have a statutory requirement to use appointment advisory committees (AACs) as a ‘quality control’ for any consultant appointment in the NHS.

The AACs, which have Medical Royal College input, ensure job descriptions are realistic and conform to recognised standards. They also supply an expert member to sit on the interview panel.

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