News story

Government announces Monitor and Trust Development Authority move to single leadership to deliver increased support to hospitals

Today the Secretary of State is announcing the move to a single leader of Monitor and the Trust Development Authority (TDA), the organisations who are together responsible for providing increased support to hospitals to continue to improve care and boost efficiency.

The NHS, along with Monitor and TDA, have risen to the challenge presented by the Francis Report in the wake of Mid Staffs, but this new move will embed hospital safety as a key priority. The closer working between Monitor and TDA will encompass those functions and duties carried out by both organisations.

This change will mean that all NHS providers, whether they are foundation trusts or trusts, are under the oversight of one chief executive, overseeing teams working closely together. All hospitals need access to the same kinds of support, and should be subject to the same kinds of intervention if their performance isn’t delivering the level of care that patients have a right to expect.

The principle of closer working between Monitor and the TDA has been a subject of growing consensus among healthcare leaders and NHS providers. In the interests of patients and staff, it is now time to go further and ensure that staff in both organisations report to a single leader. Patients rightly expect the same very high standards of care wherever they are in the country and whatever the organisational status of the hospital delivering their care.

This change will support hospitals with the crucial work they have already started to balance their books and clamp down on spending on expensive staffing agencies. Closer working between the two organisations will enable the system to work together to achieve the best value for money, avoid wastage and deliver the efficiencies needed for a sustainable health system.

Similarly, no changes to the foundation trust model are currently envisaged. We support strongly the principle that NHS organisations should have access to greater freedoms as their delivery for patients and taxpayers improves.

The chairs of both Monitor and the TDA have been asked to run an open and competitive process to identify a chief executive. Our intention is that this appointment will be made by the end of the summer.

In advance of a new joint chief executive being appointed, the current chief executives of Monitor and TDA, David Bennett and Bob Alexander, will oversee early steps to begin bringing the two organisations together with immediate effect. David Bennett will remain in place to steer the transition for Monitor but has said he will step down in due course.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

This is an exciting opportunity for the people at Monitor and TDA to combine their respective skills to create a world class capability to support NHS providers. I am grateful to David and Bob for their contribution over recent years in the creation of this capability.