Private firms could run failing NHS trusts

Failing NHS managers may be replaced by private sector bosses in a crackdown by the government announced today.

Health minister Ben Bradshaw this morning published a policy document aimed at identifying and improving poorly performing NHS trusts.

‘Developing the NHS Performance Regime’ sets out a new system where those trusts failing to meet certain criteria will be branded ‘challenged’ and set performance improvement plans.

If challenged trusts don’t meet the targets set in their performance improvement plans within an agreed timescale, they will be deemed ‘failed’.

Possible measures to turn around failed trusts include replacing managers with bosses from other parts of the NHS or the private sector.

Bradshaw said: “There are still unacceptable variations in performance and a small number of NHS organisations where performance is not meeting the standards the public and patients expect.

“We will not tolerate underperformance in the NHS and, for the first time, we will publicly identify those trusts with poor safety and clinical records.

“This new guidance sets out how we will tackle poor performance and the turnaround regime which we are establishing for those hospitals and Primary Care Trusts identified as falling below minimum standards,” Bradshaw said.

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