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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 May, 2003, 11:43 GMT 12:43 UK
Foundation trusts: At-a-glance

BBC News Online examines the key differences between standard NHS trusts and the government's proposed foundation trusts.

How do they compare?
NHS trusts Foundation trusts
Accountability Accountable to the Department of Health, which sets out its goals and priorities Will be accountable to the local community. Patients will be able to vote for and stand for election to a new board of governors, which will set out the trust's goals and priorities
Clinical Care Required to meet government targets on waiting times and clinical priorities Will be able to set their own targets and will be free from Whitehall interference
Control Controlled by the Department of Health and an executive board Controlled by a board of governors and an executive board
Finances Are unable to keep the proceeds from the sale of land. Unable to borrow money on the open market or keep money that isn't spent Will be able to keep proceeds raised from the sale of assets and land. Will be able to reinvest operating surpluses. Will be able to borrow money on the open market
Private patients Some treat a limited number of private patients as a way of supplementing their income Will be able to treat private patients but will face limits on the amount they can earn from this work
Staff pay Tied into national pay deals which set uniform rates of pay and working conditions across the UK May be able to set their own rates of pay and working conditions for staff, including doctors and nurses. Will be able to offer new incentives and rewards to staff to help improve patient services
Standards Required to meet national standards. Inspected regularly by the Commission for Healthcare Improvement. Can be taken over by a new management team if they are deemed to be failing Required to meet national standards and will face regular inspections. Will also be regulated by a new Independent Regulator, to ensure trusts are fulfilling the terms of their licence. Can lose foundation status if it performs badly or is no longer financially viable
Source: Dept of Health

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