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NHS Trusts: Subsidiary Companies

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 3748, tabled on 22 October 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 8 October 2019 to Question 293629 on NHS Trusts: Subsidiary Companies, if he will publish the reviews referred to in paragraph two of the answer.

Answered on

28 October 2019

Ministers do not have a role in approving Wholly Owned Subsidiary companies created by National Health Service foundation trusts, as this role is delegated to NHS England and NHS Improvement

The review of the Addendum to the “Transactions guidance – for trusts forming or changing a subsidiary” will focus on updating the overall approach to subsidiaries to ensure it is appropriate and proportionate. There is no intention to focus the review of the Addendum on subsidiaries delivering management of property and estates.

The review of a subsidiary proposal focusses on understanding the level of risk it presents. As part of this, NHS England and NHS Improvement will consider whether the Trust Board has undertaken a detailed options appraisal before deciding that the proposed subsidiary transaction aligns with wider system plans. Whether or not this should include an appraisal of the option for NHS Property Services to manage the services is a matter for the Trust Board, and will depend on the circumstances of each case.

No assessment by Ministers has been made of NHS England and NHS Improvement compliance with their transaction guidance. It is for NHS England and NHS Improvement to arrange meetings with the Trust board and other key stakeholders, so that they better understand the Trust’s proposals for its Wholly Owned Subsidiary and the risks involved.

NHS trust business cases provided to NHS Improvement for review are commercially sensitive; NHS England and NHS Improvement do not disclose details of the business cases nor their review of them.

Answered by

Department of Health and Social Care