Comparison With Other Hospitals
Unlike hospitals outside the NHS, Foundation Trusts have had a cap on the proportion of their income that can come from non-NHS treatments. So, the private patient income cap was, in fact, a misnomer. It did not only apply to income derived from individual patients, it covered income from all non-NHS sources. This could include joint ventures to develop medical technologies, employers paying for counselling services or income from treating UK military personnel overseas.
The Health and Social Care Act 2012 abolished the private patient cap but FTs have to do the majority of their work for the NHS. This restriction was kept to reassure those concerned about future developments that FTs would continue to have NHS work as their central concern. Previously each FT had its own cap, set at the level of its private activity when the first FTs were established in 2003/4. About three quarters of all FTs had a cap of 1.5% or less. Some FTs had caps set at 0.2% of their turnover, a handful had caps of between 15 and 30%. Until 2010 all mental health trusts were completely barred from undertaking non NHS work, but after lobbying from the Foundation Trust Network it was raised to 1.5%. These caps disappear on 1 October 2012.
Foundation Trusts also have different reporting requirements. They produce their accounts under the Foundation Trust Financial Report Manual, which is collated and authorised by Monitor, in liaison with HM Treasury. They also have to produce annual Quality Accounts.
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