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12 Sept 2005 : Column 2717W—continued

Foster Care

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much money a foster family in London has received for each child fostered in each of the last five years. [14652]

Beverley Hughes: I have been asked to reply.

The National Minimum Standards require that each foster carer receives an allowance and agreed expenses to cover the full cost of caring for each child placed with him or her. Local authorities determine their own payment systems and information about the payments which they make to foster carers is not collected centrally. However, we are working with key stakeholders—including local authorities—to develop proposals for a national minimum allowance for foster carers in order to improve the consistency and transparency of payments.

Foundation Trusts

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the total cost is of the diagnostic programmes to prepare NHS trusts for authorisation as foundation trusts being run in the (a) Cheshire and Merseyside and (b) Birmingham and the Black Country strategic health authorities; [10131]

(2) what payments have been made to McKinsey and Company for their involvement in the diagnostic programme to prepare NHS trusts for authorisation as foundation trusts; [10132]

(3) what the estimated cost is of the diagnostic programme to prepare NHS trusts for foundation status when it is rolled out to the whole NHS; [10133]

(4) how many companies were invited to bid for a role in the diagnostic programme to prepare NHS trusts for foundation status; and which companies submitted bids. [10134]

Mr. Byrne: The Department has asked Monitor, the statutory name of which is the Independent Regulator of National Health Service Foundation Trusts, to:
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The cost of this additional work, which will contribute to improved financial management in the NHS, is £1.5 million and the Department has provided funding to Monitor for this amount. I am informed by the chairman of Monitor that the funding has been allocated to McKinsey and Company as part of an extension to an existing contract awarded under an European Union-compliant procurement exercise.

Rollout of the diagnostic programme across the NHS will be subject to an evaluation of the pilots. In the event of a national roll out, the Department will consider the levels of support for acute trusts required from NHS organisations and external consultants. Any new contracts to support the national roll out of this programme will adhere to procurement procedures, which are fully compliant with tendering procedures set out by the Office of Government Commerce.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health in what circumstances, and under what criteria, one foundation trust can take over another. [14047]

Mr. Byrne: The Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003 establishes a bespoke insolvency and dissolution regime for national health service foundation trusts (NHSFTs), which is based on insolvency rules for companies but with specific modifications applied to safeguard staff and assets required to deliver essential NHS services.

The Act gives Monitor, the statutory name of which is the Independent Regulator of NHS foundation trusts, powers of intervention if a NHSFT is significantly breaching, or has significantly breached its terms of authorisation or any enactment. In most cases, intervention should avert the failure of an NHSFT for financial reasons. However if an NHSFT does fail financially and Monitor considers that the essential NHS services of the NHSFT are at risk, then it may recommend that the NHSFT is dissolved.

The Secretary of State is able to dissolve a NHSFT in certain specified circumstances, based on a judgement by Monitor that further exercise of its statutory powers will not secure the provision of the essential NHS services that the body is required to provide under its terms of authorisation. Under such circumstances, the Secretary of State would have the power to transfer the assets, rights and liabilities of the NHSFT to another health service body, which may include another NHSFT, or to herself. It is our intention to lay secondary legislation detailing the failure regime later this year. Section 27 of the Act also sets out the circumstances under which an NHSFT might merge with another.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many members each foundation trust had at the last count. [14048]

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Mr. Byrne: This is a matter for Monitor, the statutory name of which is the Independent Regulator of national health service foundation trusts (NHSFTs). The chairman of Monitor has provided the following table, which shows the membership statistics for each of the 32 existing NHSFTs at 31 March 2005.
Individual memberships of NHSFTs

NHSFTTotal membership
Authorised 1 April 2004
Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals10,062
Bradford Teaching Hospitals3,485
Countess of Chester Hospital3,611
Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals7,378
Homerton University Hospital4,544
Moorfields Eye Hospital11,436
Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals8,685
Royal Devon and Exeter15,184
The Royal Marsden2,397
Authorised 1 July 2004
Cambridge University Hospitals22,397
City Hospitals Sunderland6,973
Derby Hospitals9,647
Gloucestershire Hospitals15,203
Guy's and St. Thomas'13,490
Papworth Hospital8,156
Queen Victoria Hospital12,838
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals6,505
University College London Hospitals8,592
University Hospital Birmingham96,406
Authorised 1 January 2005
Barnsley Hospital12,508
Chesterfield Royal Hospital9,799
Gateshead Health9,121
Harrogate and District10,478
South Tyneside4,526
Authorised 1 April 2005
Frimley Park Hospital5,841
Heart of England48,141
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals9,394
Liverpool Women's10,074
The Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases4,535
The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals13,302
Authorised 1 June 2005
The Rotherham5,373


Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much fraud within the NHS in England has been detected in each of the last eight years; if she will estimate the outstanding amount of fraud within the NHS, broken down by (a) strategic health authority and (b) type of fraud; and if she will make a statement. [13693]

Jane Kennedy: The information is not available in the form requested.

The National Health Service Counter Fraud Service and Security Management Service (CFSMS) was established in 1998 and has policy and operational responsibility for countering fraud and corruption within the NHS.
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The amount of fraud detected and stopped in each year since 1998 is shown in the table. These figures indicate the increased effort that has taken place to identify and stop fraud, allowing more resources to be spent on patient care and services.
Value of fraud and unlawful action identified and stopped

AmountRunning total

The CFSMS carries out risk measurement exercises to estimate the scale of losses to fraud in different areas of spending in the NHS accurately. The analysis of each exercise is to a precision level of better than plus or minus 1 per cent.

An estimate of the outstanding amount of fraud in all areas of NHS spending is not yet available. Details of measurement exercises carried out to date and of all other counter fraud work between 1999 and 2005 are shown in the CFSMS performance statistics, published on 13 July. These show an overall financial benefit of counter fraud work to the NHS of £675 million, against a budgetary investment of £52 million. Copies have been placed in the Library.

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