Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is an NHS foundation trust that manages the Bradford Royal Infirmary and St Luke's Hospital in Bradford, northern England. [1]

Bradford was one of the first foundation trusts, created in April 2004 [2] soon after the legislation had been pushed through Parliament by its architect, the Blairite neo-liberal Alan Milburn. However, its experiment with foundation status has been a fiasco. By October 2004, media reports were warning of a possible £4m shortfall [3]. By January 2005 this had ballooned to £11m [4].

Bill Moyes, the regulator for foundation trusts, responded to Bradford's woes by calling in a New York based firm of troubleshooters, Alvarez and Marsal. According to The Guardian, the A&M people alienated hospital employees by asking questions such as "How many dollars does this operation cost?" - and then handed the Bradford trust a £160,000 bill for their services [5]. In March 2005, it was reported that A&M's original expenses bill of £25,460 had been mysteriously cut to £10,283 after hospital officials "requested a detailed breakdown, including receipts, in November last year" [6].

Around the same time, the trust's chairman John Ryan was sacked [7]. In January 2005, a letter from Ryan to the chairman of the Commons health select committee, David Hinchliffe, was made public. In the letter, according to The Guardian, Ryan "claimed he had been made a scapegoat for the failure of the government's controversial policy." [8]

Another Guardian article reported that Moyes's Monitor had decided to replace Ryan "with its own nominee, Peter Garland, who will presumably lead in an approved way." [9] The Guardian's presumption may be a reasonable one, given the contents of a talk given by Garland back in April 2002. It was titled "Modernising Health and Social Care", and in it he characterized Foundation Trusts as providing "Diversity of providers, choice for consumers", and concluded "Big money; Big changes; Big challenges. We mustn’t miss this opportunity." [10]

In March 2005, the Yorkshire Post reported that the trust's chairman, David Jackson, was considering early retirement. According to the report, "Mr Jackson's departure would leave the trust with no permanent chief executive, chief financial officer or chairman." [11]

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