Changes to the NHS provider licence to support system working and collaboration

NHS England has published a consultation on changes to the NHS provider licence – the first substantive consultation since 2013. The provider licence is held by all NHS foundation trusts and independent sector providers unless exempt. NHS trusts have been exempt until now but will now need to be licenced under new proposals.

The proposed changes are intended to support effective integrated care system working in line with the accompanying policy changes in the Health and Care Act 2022.

The consultation runs for six weeks closing on 9 December 2022.

The provider licence forms part of oversight arrangements for NHS providers and serves as the legal mechanism for regulatory intervention and underpins mandated support for the most challenged providers. It should be read in conjunction with the NHS oversight framework for NHS trusts and foundation trusts and the Risk assessment framework and reporting manual for independent sector providers of NHS services.

Have your say

NHS England are keen to hear from existing licence holders including Integrated Care Boards, the CQC and its Healthwatch England Committee and from NHS trusts, who will be issued a licence following changes introduce by the Health and Care Act 2022 and from other bodies with an interest in the provision of NHS healthcare in England.

You can read the consultation here and complete the online consultation here.

NHS England expect to issue licences to all existing and new licence holders (including NHS trusts) once the licence is finalised post consultation, with an effective date based on when all licences will have been issued.

We understand that the timeline will be communicated as part of the publication of the consultation response – and that existing arrangements will be maintained until such time as the new licences take effect, including the shadow licence approach currently used with NHS trusts.

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