The NDTA is coming...and it plans a hands-on role

The Department of Health has published its plans for the establishment of the NHS Trust Development Authority the NDTA. Once the new organisation's full powers are conferred on it which is intended to be in April 2013 it will be responsible for four roles:

  • performance management of NHS Trusts that have yet to achieve FT status
  • management of the FT pipeline (ie. assisting those Trusts to achieve FT status)
  • assurance of clinical quality governance and risk in NHS Trusts
  • appointments to NHS Trusts for example of chairs and non-executive directors

Readers' attention is particularly drawn to page 11 which emphasises that commissioners must be fully engaged in the provider development agenda to ensure effective partnership arrangements with current and future FTs beyond short-term contractual arrangements. The report states that the NDTA will work together with the NCB and CCGs to ensure commissioner support for NHS Trusts.

NHS Trusts and those with concerns about centralised control in the new NHS environment may find some of the language used in the report interesting. At page 9 I would highlight the following quotes:

  • Unlike the regulatory bodies such as Monitor or the CQC the NDTA will be directly involved in developing NHS Trusts 
  • The NDTA will work with NHS Trusts to develop sustainable solutions to organisational challenges which have in some cases been allowed to continue for many years

The Our processes section of the report does not shed any real light on how direct this involvement is going to be but it certainly sounds like centrally-imposed management.

The NDTA is due to be established as a special health authority in June of this year. Further developments will be reported here.

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