Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation2003 c. 43
See commencement information

Health and Social Care (CommunityHealth and Standards) Act 2003

2003 CHAPTER 43

An Act to amend the law about the National Health Service; to make provision about quality and standards in the provision of health and social care, including provision establishing the Commission for Healthcare Audit and Inspection and the Commission for Social Care Inspection; to amend the law about the recovery of NHS costs from persons making compensation payments; to provide for the replacement of the Welfare Food Schemes; to make provision about appointments to health and social care bodies; and for connected purposes.

[20th November 2003]

B e it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 NHS foundation trusts

Part 1

NHS foundation trusts

Introductory

Introductory

S-1 NHS foundation trusts

1 NHS foundation trusts

(1) An NHS foundation trust is a public benefit corporation which is authorised under this Part to provide goods and services for the purposes of the health service in England.

(2) A public benefit corporation is a body corporate which, in pursuance of an application under this Part, is constituted in accordance with Schedule 1.

S-2 Independent Regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts

2 Independent Regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts

(1) There is to be a body corporate known as the Independent Regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts (referred to in this Part as ‘the regulator’).

(2) Schedule 2 (which makes further provision about the regulator) has effect.

S-3 General duty of regulator

3 General duty of regulator

The regulator must exercise its functions in a manner that is consistent with the performance by the Secretary of State of the duties under sections 1, 3 and 51 of the National Health Service Act 1977 (c. 49) (duty as to health service and services generally and as to university clinical teaching and research).

Authorisation

Authorisation

S-4 Applications by NHS trusts

4 Applications by NHS trusts

(1) An NHS trust may make an application to the regulator for authorisation to become an NHS foundation trust, if the application is supported by the Secretary of State.

(2) The application must—

(a) describe the goods and services which the NHS trust proposes should be provided by the NHS foundation trust, and

(b) be accompanied by a copy of the proposed constitution of the trust;

and must give any further information which the regulator requires the NHS trust to give.

(3) The applicant may modify the application with the agreement of the regulator at any time before authorisation is given under section 6.

(4) Once an NHS trust has made the application—

(a) the provisions of the proposed constitution which give effect to paragraphs 3 to 19 of Schedule 1 have effect, but only for the purpose of establishing the initial membership of the NHS foundation trust and of the board of governors, and the initial directors, and enabling the board of governors and board of directors to make preparations for the performance of their functions,

(b) the NHS trust may do anything (including the things mentioned in paragraph 16 of Schedule 2 to the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990 (c. 19) (general powers)) which appears to it to be necessary or desirable for the purpose of preparing it for NHS foundation trust status.

S-5 Other applications

5 Other applications

(1) An application may be made to the regulator by persons (other than an NHS trust) to be incorporated as a public benefit corporation and authorised to become an NHS foundation trust, if the application is supported by the Secretary of State.

(2) The application must—

(a) describe the goods and services which the applicants propose should be provided by the trust, and

(b) be accompanied by a copy of the proposed constitution of the trust;

and must give any further information which the regulator requires the applicants to give.

(3) If it appears to the regulator that—

(a) provision of the goods and services described in the application is likely to assist in the performance of the duties mentioned in section 3,

(b) the trust as proposed to be constituted will be able to provide those goods and services, and

(c) the proposed constitution accords with Schedule 1 and is otherwise appropriate,

the regulator may issue a certificate of incorporation.

(4) The applicants may modify the application with the agreement of the regulator at any time before the certificate is issued.

(5) On the issue of the certificate, the applicants are incorporated as a public benefit corporation.

(6) The certificate is conclusive evidence of incorporation.

(7) Once the certificate has been issued—

(a) the proposed constitution has effect, but the applicants may exercise the functions of the corporation on its behalf until a board of directors is appointed in accordance with the constitution,

(b) the corporation may do anything (including the things mentioned in section 18) which appears to it to be necessary or desirable for the purpose of preparing it for NHS foundation trust status.

S-6 Authorisation of NHS foundation trusts

6 Authorisation of NHS foundation trusts

(1) The regulator may give an authorisation under this section—

(a) to an NHS trust which has applied under section 4, or

(b) to a public benefit corporation,

if the regulator is satisfied as to the following matters.

(2) The matters are that—

(a) the applicant's constitution will be in accordance with Schedule 1 and will otherwise be appropriate,

(b) the applicant has taken steps to secure that (taken as a whole) the actual membership of any public constituency, and (if there is one) of the patients' constituency, will be representative of those eligible for such membership,

(c) there will be a board of governors, and a board of directors, constituted in accordance with the constitution,

(d) the steps necessary to prepare for NHS foundation trust status have been taken,

(e) the applicant will be able to provide the goods and services which the authorisation is to require it to provide, and

(f) any other requirements which the regulator considers appropriate are met.

(3) In deciding whether it is satisfied as to the matters referred to in subsection (2)(e), the regulator is to consider (among other things)—

(a) any report or recommendation in respect of the applicant made by the Commission for Healthcare Audit and Inspection,

(b) the financial position of the applicant.

(4) The authorisation may be given on any terms the regulator considers appropriate.

(5) The regulator must not give an authorisation unless it is satisfied that the applicant has sought the views about the application of the following—

(a) if the applicant is an NHS trust, the Patients' Forum for the trust and the staff employed by the trust,

(b) individuals who live in any area specified in the proposed constitution as the area for a public constituency,

(c) any local authority that would be authorised by the proposed constitution to appoint a member of the board of governors,

(d) if the proposed constitution provides for a patients' constituency, individuals who would be able apply to become members of that constituency,

(e) any persons prescribed by regulations.

(6) If regulations make provision about consultation, the regulator may not give an authorisation unless it is satisfied that the applicant has complied with the regulations.

(7) The generality of the power in subsection (4) is not affected by the following provisions of this Part.

S-7 Effect of authorisation

7 Effect of authorisation

(1) On an authorisation being given to a body corporate which is an NHS trust—

(a) it ceases to be an NHS trust and becomes an NHS foundation trust,

(b) the proposed constitution has effect.

(2) In consequence of subsection (1)(a), any order made under section 5(1) of the 1990 Act (establishment of the NHS trust) is revoked.

(3) On an authorisation being given to a body corporate which is a public benefit corporation, it becomes an NHS foundation trust.

(4) The authorisation is conclusive evidence that the body in question is an NHS foundation trust.

(5) Subsections (1) to (3) do not affect the continuity of the body or of its property or liabilities.

(6) The validity of any act of an NHS foundation trust is not affected by any vacancy among the directors or by any defect in the appointment of any director.

(7) An NHS foundation trust is not to be regarded as the servant or agent of the Crown or as enjoying any status, immunity or privilege of the Crown; and the trust's property is not to be regarded as property of, or property held on behalf of, the Crown.

S-8 Amendments of constitution

8 Amendments of constitution

An NHS foundation trust may make amendments of its constitution with the approval of the regulator.

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