Call for non-FTs to have greater freedom to deliver STPs

NHS trusts should be allowed to set up shared service companies and be part of accountable care organisations to help deliver their sustainability and transformation plans.


person photo

David Owens


Currently NHS Improvement is of the view that non-foundation trusts do not have the power to enter into such “corporate vehicles”. This can limit their options when looking at ways to share back office services or setting up innovative ways of delivering services. Many STP areas contain both NHS trusts and FTs, so they could have to use other ways of joint working.

Bevan Brittan has called for this stance to be reconsidered to allow greater freedoms for NHS trusts. Health secretary Jeremy Hunt could use a statutory instrument to give NHS trusts the necessary powers without needing new legislation.

Bevan Brittain partner David Owens said: “The current situation creates a problem with some of the things we are expecting to see coming out of the STPs around implementing Carter through shared services.”

Two organisations often want to form a joint venture to deliver a shared service so they can be equal partners but this is harder to do if one is an NHS trust, he said.

He added this could also be an issue if GPs wanted to join with a community NHS trust as a multispecialty community provider – one partner would have to take the lead and potentially subcontract to others. The law firm has been approached by trusts wanting to enter joint ventures around pharmacy and estates, but were restricted in how they could do so. There could also be questions over how ACOs could be established.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health said: “While there is currently no specific power for NHS trusts to create or participate in a joint venture company (except for income generation) the Department is committed to developing new models of care as part of the Five Year Forward View. As such, we would always work with NHS organisations and national bodies to consider any requests that would deliver more advanced and efficient care across the health system.”

Related Insights

Bevan Brittan scoops double honours at the HealthInvestor Awards

by Vincent Buscemi

Employment Status Update

by Sarah Lamont

CMA issue final advice on care homes charging fees

by David Owens

Health and Social Care Update - June 2018

by Claire Bentley

Policy and law relevant to those involved in health and social care work.

HSE and CQC Prosecutions for Health and Safety: Guidance for Public...

by Hannah Taylor

The Health and Safety Executive (the "HSE") is responsible for the regulation and enforcement of workplace health and safety. The...

Introduction to CTO Recall: Part 2

by Clementine Robertshaw

My previous article "Introduction to CTO Recall: Part 1" covered the basic process and procedure of recall from a Community...

Reducing the Number of Compulsory Admissions: Positive Changes for...

by Alice O'Donoghue

In May 2017, Theresa May suggested that, if elected, she would consider replacing the Mental Health Act 1983 ("MHA") “in its...

Surrogacy, Adoption, and Information Governance

by Julia Jones

There are a number of patients for whom their clinical records need special consideration, including those who have had, or are...

Related Tags

Keep up to date With Bevan Brittan

What interests you?

About you?

You can view our privacy policy here