On 1 November 2012 the Department of Health (DH) published a consultation on proposals for a Health Special Administration procedure (HSA) for companies delivering NHS services. The proposed HSA procedure would ensure that the services provided will be secured if the companies become insolvent.

The consultation seeks views on the draft Health Special Administration Regulations 2013 and on:

  • The grounds for starting, and exiting the HSA
  • The role of Monitor, including its responsibility for creating a register of providers who may be subject to the HSA
  • The process for deciding which services should be secured and the solutions for ensuring their continuity

The Health Special Administration consultation sets out how safeguards to protect the services that patients need will be extended to NHS services provided by social enterprises and independent sector providers.

For the first time, the services provided by these organisations will be secured if they become insolvent. This will ensure that, regardless of the type of provider, patients will receive an uninterrupted service they can rely on.

The HSA is intended as a last resort where earlier action, operating through Monitor’s licensing regime, has either been unsuccessful or is not considered appropriate to best protect the interests of patients.

Monitor will be able to seek the appointment of a health special administrator, who will take control of the company, working with local health professionals so that services can continue.

Currently, if a company that provides NHS healthcare becomes insolvent and can no longer provide services, there are few safeguards in place to ensure that patients can still access those services.

The consultation closes on 4 January 2013, responses can be emailed to HSA.Consultation@dh.gsi.gov.uk