Much of the general guidance on trustee duties, good governance, and accounting and reporting applies equally to NHS charities as to any other charity but there are a number of issues where NHS specific guidance is necessary.
A Guide for NHS charities sets out guidance on a range of governance related issues specific to NHS charities, together with accounting and auditing information that is specific to NHS charities.
In the autumn of 2012 the Department of Health is consulting upon the possibility of NHS charities replacing themselves with independent successors. Subject to the outcome of that consultation, and the Secretary of State's subsequent decision on how to proceed, the following summary explains the steps by which NHS trustees would implement a transfer to an independent charity, if that is their choice of how to proceed:
On 30 June 2011 HM Treasury announced, with other relevant authorities with central government, the decision to apply IAS 27, the international consolidation accounting standard, to NHS organisations from 1 April 2013. The 1 April 2013 application date to NHS organisations will allow issues around potential NHS reform in England to be resolved and allow time to achieve consistent and correct application across the NHS.
The implications of this decision for NHS Charities is summarised in our Guidance for corporate trustees and trustee bodies managing NHS charitable funds.
It is important to note that decisions on the use of an NHS charity's funds continue to be the responsibility of the charity's trustees, acting in the best interests of the charity and its beneficiaries. The NHS can only apply these charitable funds to the extent, and in the ways, that the charities' trustees want.
In managing and operating their charity trustees need to be independent - all NHS trustees are recommended to see our guidance NHS charities and independence, indicators and evidence.
Under the current Health and Social Care bill it is proposed to dissolve PCTs, but it is understood that this may not take effect until April 2013. The Commission is awaiting information from the Department of Health on how it is proposed to deal with charitable funds held by or on behalf of specific PCTs.
Until we are notified of what is intended we cannot advise current trustees - or any proposed successor body to the provider or commissioning functions of PCTs - what steps they may need to take in relation to the transfer of charitable funds. If you need advice on transfers of specific PCT charitable funds please contact the Department of Health.
The Department of Health publishes its own guidance on the options available under current legislative arrangements. The guidance is called Frequently Asked Question: Primary Care Trusts - Funds held on trust and transforming community services and can be found on the Department of Health website.
The Commission should be notified by the new trustee(s) after the trusteeship of funds has been transferred, so that we can advise whether an update is needed to the Register of Charities.
NHS charities in common with all registered charities must consider public benefit when preparing their trustee annual reports for years beginning on or after 1 April 2008. To assist NHS charities the following model examples have been prepared:
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