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Monitor Board finds Medway NHS Foundation Trust in significant breach

3rd May 2011

Monitor, the independent regulator of NHS foundation trusts, has found that Medway NHS Foundation Trust is in significant breach of the terms of its Authorisation.

Monitor’s Board found the Trust to be in significant breach due to its failure to comply with its general duty to exercise its functions effectively, efficiently and economically and its governance duty.

In particular, Monitor’s Board has residual concerns relating to Board level scrutiny and assurance processes concerning financial planning and performance at the Trust, given the historical lack of effectiveness in these areas.
   
After carefully considering all the available evidence, Monitor’s Board decided not to use its formal intervention powers at this stage. However, Monitor will continue to review progress against specific milestones and actions to be agreed with the Trust’s Board. Should the trust fail to deliver timely and sustainable progress towards full compliance with its terms of Authorisation, Monitor is likely to consider formal intervention.

Speaking after Monitor’s Board meeting, Dr David Bennett, Chair of Monitor, said:

"We’ve taken this decision due to concerns about the level of Board challenge on financial issues and about the Trust’s plans to return to a stable financial footing.

"As the regulator of foundation trusts, it’s our role to make sure that they are well-led, that their Boards are focused on the quality of care patients get and that they are financially strong - but we don’t performance manage them. The Trust’s Board is accountable to the local community for the effective delivery of services, and responsible for identifying problems and addressing them. We only take action if a Trust doesn’t deal with issues quickly and effectively.

"Monitor will continue to work closely with the Board at Medway NHS Foundation Trust to ensure that it takes the action necessary to make a sustainable return to full compliance and that it does so at an appropriate pace. We will also continue to work closely with the CQC to ensure the continued provision of high quality services to the patients the Trust serves. If evidence suggests the Trust is not addressing issues effectively, we will consider whether further regulatory action is appropriate."

 

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