Following an announcement made last month by the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSHCC), plans are in motion to convert the hospital charity to an independent charity regulated solely by the Charity Commission.
As it stands GOSHCC, a very large NHS charity with an annual income of around £70 million (http://www.gosh.org/gen/about-us/annual-reports/), is regulated jointly by the Department of Health and the Charity Commission. Last year the DH issued outline guidance setting out the process for NHS charities to move to independent status (see our posting here for further details).
This follows changes in accounting rules which have resulted in some controversy over the way in which accounts are filed for NHS charities, which in turn made it likely that some NHS trusts would be required to include charities’ resources on their own balance sheets. NHS charities are now able to establish themselves and run as independent incorporated charities.
GOSHCC aims to convert to independent status by 1 April 2015 with all property, funding and agreements of the current charity automatically vesting in the newly incorporated charity. The new charity will have the same name as the current charity.
The aim of this government initiative is to free NHS funded charities from some of the restrictions placed upon them by being connected with the Department of Health and the Health Secretary. The new structure will allow GOSHCC the ability to appoint its own trustees independently – rather than having them appointed by the Secretary of State for Health, it will enable them to demonstrate to donors and the Charity Commission its independence of decision making and afford GOSHCC the opportunity to adopt a wider charitable purpose and to enter into creative funding initiatives.