We have been working to ensure that the development and implementation of the NHS Provider Licence in England that is managed by Monitor, the healthcare regulator, is appropriate and proportionate for hospice care.
Summary of the NHS Provider Licence
Organisations providing NHS care are required to hold an NHS Provider Licence in certain circumstances. Since April 2014, this requirement has also applied to eligible independent healthcare providers.
The regulations governing the NHS Provider Licence allow for some exemptions from the requirement to hold an NHS Provider Licence. Organisations with an NHS turnover (income) of less that £10 million per year are exempt from the requirement to hold an NHS Provider Licence.
However, commissioners have the ability to designate certain services as ‘Commissioner Requested Services’. This means that the commissioners consider the continuity of the service to local people to be so important, that they wish to introduce additional safeguards to ensure that patients are not negatively affected if a provider finds themselves in financial difficulties. Monitor has published guidance for commissioners on how and when services should be designated in this way.
Providers of services that are designated as ‘Commissioner Requested Services’ will be required to hold an NHS Provider Licence regardless of whether they would otherwise be exempt from the requirement under the regulations. So, if a hospice is designated as a ‘Commissioner Requested Service’, it will be required to hold a licence whether or not it receives less than £10 million of NHS income in a year. The designation as a ‘Commissioner Requested Services’ is therefore the key to whether or not local hospices might be required to hold an NHS Provider Licence.
For further information on our work with Monitor please contact our policy and advocacy team