The King's Fund responds to the Public Accounts Committee's report on NHS hospitals achieving foundation trust status

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Responding to the Public Accounts Committee’s report on achievement of foundation trust status by NHS hospital trusts, the Chief Executive of The King’s Fund, Chris Ham, said:

'Today’s report once again highlights the severe financial and clinical problems facing some hospitals. Our own report, Improving health and health care in London: Who will take the lead?, published earlier this week shows that these problems are particularly acute in London where much needed service changes have been delayed as a result of the government’s health reforms.

'The government needs to work closely with struggling hospitals to find solutions – this will include mergers and, in some cases, service closures. Recent announcements by the Secretary of State backing service changes in some high profile cases have signalled a welcome willingness to embrace the need for change. This should be followed by an honest dialogue with the public and a wider programme to reorganise the hospital sector, including service closures where this is necessary to improve the quality of care.

'This should be accompanied by a significant shift of resources away from hospitals and into the community to support the development of integrated care, with GPs, hospitals and community services working closely together to meet the needs of the increasing numbers of people with long term conditions.'

Notes to editors

For more information or to request an interview with Chris Ham, please contact the Press and Public Affairs office at The King's Fund on 020 7307 2585 (if you are calling out of hours, please ring 07584 146035).

Download a copy of our report, Improving health and health care in London: Who will take the lead? from The King's Fund website.