Monitor endowed with Special Administration powers
By Richard Johnstone | 1 November 2012
Health service watchdog Monitor has today been empowered to appoint new managers to run hospitals that get into financial difficulty in order to ensure services for patients are protected.
The foundation trust regulator’s role is being expanded to cover the whole of health service following passage of the government’s controversial Health and Social Care Act.
Among Monitor’s new powers is the ability to place NHS trusts in Special Administration should they become insolvent. This regime is designed to protect patient services ahead of creditors where a trusts break down financially.
Under the special administration process, Monitor’s options to ensure the continuation of services include restructuring the existing provider, moving services to other providers or letting services be taken over.
To enable it to implement the provisions, Monitor said today it would draw up a short list of administrators who could be called upon to run trusts if needed.
The power to place trusts into administration previously rested with the secretary of state for health, and were used for the first time in July when an administrator was appointed to debt-hit South London Healthcare NHS Trust. Special administrator Matthew Kershaw recommended last week that the trust should be broken up.
Monitor’s new management team, as part of its expanded role as sector regulator, also took up their posts today. This follows David Bennett’s appointment as chief executive earlier this week.