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Monitor issues intervention notice to Milton Keynes NHS Foundation Trust

5th March 2010

Monitor, the independent regulator of NHS foundation trusts, has today used its regulatory powers to require the Board of Milton Keynes NHS Foundation Trust to appoint external expert clinical advisers to assist the foundation trust to accelerate the delivery of improvements within its maternity service.

While CQC, the quality regulator, believes the Trust is safe to provide services, they will be closely monitoring the trust and are intending to impose conditions as part of their new Registration system which they will introduce from 1 April.

The decision to intervene was taken by Monitor’s Board at its meeting on 2 March 2010 at which the Board found the Trust in significant breach of its Authorisation. Monitor’s aim in taking this regulatory action is to ensure swift progress to safeguard future access to high quality maternity care by the Trust’s patients.

More intensive monitoring of the Trust was triggered following a December 2009 Coroner’s inquest and the CQC ‘Summary of progress against maternity intervention’ published in January 2010 which found that significant progress still needed to be made against three of the 12 recommendations of the Healthcare Commission December 2008 report and that only partial progress had been made on five other of the recommendations.  Regulatory action resulted from a failure by the Trust to take rapid enough action to address these concerns.

Monitor noted that although the Trust Board had an action plan to deal with the 12 recommendations in the Healthcare Commission’s December 2008 report, it failed to ensure that the action plan addressed the recommendations rapidly and delivered the requisite pace of change.

Specific actions which remain to be implemented from the December 2008 report include the recruitment of a consultant midwife and a sufficient number of additional midwives

Having given full consideration to these issues, and the various options for regulatory action, Monitor requires the Trust to appoint external expert clinical advisers, to be agreed with Monitor, to assist the Trust to speed up the delivery of necessary improvements.

Monitor has worked closely with the CQC and will continue to do so in agreeing the scope and overseeing the delivery of the required improvements.

Should the Trust fail to take rapid and effective action to deliver the necessary improvements and quickly return the Trust to compliance with its Authorisation, Monitor will consider further regulatory action. 

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