The IHF came into being to replace the old Independent Healthcare Association (IHA) with an inaugural meeting on 17 May 2004. Several industry speakers presented at the meeting and a programme for the organisation was announced. Although some hospital provider groups have not joined (Nuffield and certain individual independent hospitals) the new group’s philosophy would appear to be one concentrating on operational policy such as complaints procedures, consultation with the Healthcare Commission and consultant validation etc. Much of this continues work undertaken by the IHA. It is not intended for the IHF to have a political agenda or strategy.