By Alisdair Stirling
NHS Direct has revealed it is to apply for foundation trust status as it bids to win urgent care services.
The application – at the request of Health Secretary Andrew Lansley – is based on NHS Directs belief that it has ‘a reasonable prospect of winning sufficient 111 contracts to make the organisation viable as a foundation trust from April 2013.’
NHS Direct reportedly dropped plans to become a foundation trust in 2008 because of the then Labour government’s reluctance to free it from national control.
In a letter to Mr Lansley, NHS Directs chair Joanne Shaw said she wanted to create a new organisation capable of competing for future 111 contracts on an ‘any willing provider’ basis.