§ Mr. Hoban
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many trust franchise managers have terminated their contract before its expiry; and what action has been taken against them in each case; 
(2) under what circumstances a franchise manager appointed to run a zero star trust may terminate his three year contract to manage that trust (a) without a penalty and (b) with a penalty; and what penalty can be applied by (i) the trust and (ii) the Department. 
§ Mr. Hutton
[holding answer 6 February 2004]: National Health Service franchise contracts are a matter for agreement between the individual concerned and his/her employer. Questions relating to specific clauses within such contracts can be answered only by these parties.291W
The Department has no remit to apply a penalty to the chief executive of a franchised trust should he/she choose to terminate his/her contract before it is due to finish.
The chief executives of two franchised trusts have terminated their franchise contracts before they were due to finish. Any subsequent action taken as a result of this is a matter for their employers.