1 October 2003
The government introduced treatment centres with independent sector involvement to provide additional capacity for NHS services. Later, the Health Select Committee raised questions as to whether they provided value for money.
20 November 2003
The Act provided for the establishment of NHS foundation trusts – which had greater financial and management freedoms – and a new independent regulator.
9 December 2003
The government launched a consultation to explore what patients and the public would want choice to look like.
5 January 2004
The independent regulator's role was to authorise NHS trusts to become foundation trusts and intervene in the event of significant non-compliance with the terms of authorisation.
25 February 2004
After 'Securing our future health', Sir Derek Wanless reviewed cost-effective approaches to improving public health, prevention and reducing health inequalities.
1 April 2004
The first 10 foundation trusts came into operation. The central objective for creating foundation trusts was the desire to devolve power away from the centre.
24 June 2004
The government outlined its priorities for the NHS between 2004–08, and confirmed there would be continued investment to increase capacity across the system.
1 July 2004
'Choose and book' went live, allowing patients to book appointments electronically and select a choice of place, time and date for a GP referral.
21 July 2004
The public health-related standards focused on collaboration between primary care trusts, local authorities, foundation trusts, and other stakeholders.
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