Protecting patients’ interests - ensuring continuity of NHS services - A consultation on proposals for a health special administration
1. This document seeks comments on draft regulations which set out details of the ‘health special administration’ (HSA) procedure designed to secure the continuity of NHS services provided by companies, including social enterprises, to protect the interests of patients.
2. NHS services have always been provided by a diverse range of organisations, in particular the previous Government established social enterprises. However until now, there have been no special legal arrangements in place to secure the continuity of NHS services provided by social enterprises and other companies.
3. The draft regulations set out further details of the HSA procedure introduced by the Health and Social Care Act 2012 (the 2012 Act). The procedure provides Monitor with an additional regulatory tool to secure the continuity of NHS services if a company fails and where prior interventions, operating through Monitor’s licensing regime, have either been unsuccessful or are not considered appropriate to best protect the interests of patients.
4. The draft regulations build on Great Britain’s existing legislative framework and are based on the process of administration, with appropriate changes to tailor the procedure to the requirements of the health care sector. Some of the main features of the regime are:
- an overriding objective to secure the continuity of NHS services to protect the interests of patients,
- key roles for commissioners and Monitor,
- a public consultation process where implementing service continuity proposals would involve a significant variation in the provision of NHS services, and
- financial assistance mechanisms to fund service continuity.