More than 50 NHS trusts in line for foundation status

Thirty-two
of the 38 NHS trusts awarded three-star status this year have completed the
first stage of the application process to become NHS Foundation Trusts.

The
second round of trusts was announced by Lord Warner at the start of the
committee stage in the House of Lords of the Health and Social Care Bill.

They
join the 25 trust that applied in the first round and are now in the process of
consulting with their local communities before reaching the final stage of the
application process in December 2003.

Lord
Warner said: "We are now working with more than 50 NHS Trusts moving
towards NHS Foundation Trust status and this clearly demonstrates a growing
commitment to, and enthusiasm for, NHS Foundation Trusts across the NHS.

"If
all these are successful, it is likely that more than 25 per cent of the
population in England would have access to an NHS Foundation Trust by the end
of 2004," he said.

"NHS
Foundation Trusts will be firmly part of the NHS, but will be locally
accountable – free from Whitehall control and as a result better able to
deliver responsive services to the communities they serve."

By Quentin Reade

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