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From 1 May 2009 Monitor will be amending the Standard Terms of Authorisation to include a new condition relating to compliance with the Principles and Rules of Co-operation and Competition.

Current Position

In brief, Monitor's Compliance Framework (2009) already requires Foundation Trusts to follow the Principles and Rules of Co-operation and Competition and take such action as may be required by Monitor to address a breach of the principles and rules.  However the position has been that the Cooperation and Competition Panel have no power to direct Foundation Trusts, instead they are only able to make independent recommendations to Monitor on individual cases (or to the Department of Health in relation to other NHS providers and commissioners).

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Effect of the Amendment

In order to address this issue, from 1 May 2009, an obligation will now be placed in all Terms of Authorisation requiring Foundation Trusts to comply with the Principles and Rules of Co-operation and Competition.  Therefore Monitor will, as appropriate, be able to enforce the Panels decisions via the Terms of Authorisation. 

Monitor will be adding this new Condition to all Terms of Authorisation as follows:

“26. Cooperation and Competition Panel
The Cooperation and Competition Panel (CCP) will advise Monitor on issues involving the Principles and Rules for Cooperation and Competition and NHS foundation trusts. In response to that advice, Monitor may issue directions to the trust. The trust shall comply with any such directions issued by Monitor.”

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This new reference applies to all existing Foundation Trusts and new Foundation Trusts from 1 May 2009.

Crucially Monitor will not be immediately amending the Terms of Authorisation or sending new ones out to the Foundation Trusts; Monitor's website simply says that "The Terms of Authorisation will be updated on Monitor’s website by the end of June 2009. Monitor will not be re-issuing hard copies of the terms of Authorisation. You may wish to update your own copies."

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What You Should Do

Therefore it is the responsibility of individual Foundation Trusts to make the necessary amendments to their Terms of Authorisation and ensure that they are fully compliant.  It is prudent to remember that a breach of the Terms of Authorisation is grounds for formal intervention and so Trusts need to be fully aware of this amendment and ensure it is included within their Terms of Authorisation as soon as possible.

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