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Baroness Andrews: We have today placed in the Library a list of those National Health Service trusts that have been successful in their preliminary application for NHS foundation trust status, with a view to their establishment in April 2004, subject, of course, to Parliament's approval of the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Bill 2003, currently before the House of Commons. These NHS trusts will now enter the preparatory stage for NHS foundation trust status. The applicant NHS trusts must satisfy the requirements of the preparatory phase, outlined in The Guide to NHS Foundation Trusts, and must retain three stars in the performance ratings to be published in the summer before they can be approved to become NHS foundation trusts. The objective of the full application process is to help applicants to prepare for NHS foundation trust status, check whether the applicant's vision to utilise the freedoms of NHS foundation trust status is consistent with the aims of the policy, and to test the organisation's readiness.
Lord McIntosh of Haringey: The European Community's Sixth VAT Directive (77/388) provides the framework for VAT and the rates that may be applied by Member States. The UK is able to decide the domestic application of VAT within that framework. Any changes to the directive are subject to unanimity.
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