NHS foundation trusts nine months review published21st March 2011
Monitor has today published its nine month review of NHS foundation trusts for 2010-11. The results for the third quarter reveal that the majority of NHS foundation trusts continue to perform well in testing circumstances, but some longer term challenges remain.
Throughout 2010-11, Monitor, the NHS foundation trust regulator, has been tracking key issues that were identified through analysis of trusts’ annual plans and ongoing regulatory scrutiny.
At the nine month stage, the average financial risk rating of foundation trusts has improved slightly from 3.5 to 3.6 (where 5 represents the lowest risk and 1 represents the highest risk). On governance risk, the majority (57%) are rated as Green (lowest risk), and there has been a slight reduction in the number of foundation trusts rated Red (highest risk), down to ten trusts (11 in the previous quarter).
A summary of the key issues this quarter includes:
- Cost Improvement Plans are 9% behind plan (a slight improvement on 11% at quarter two);
- 20 foundation trusts have identified actual or likely contract disputes with their commissioners for 2010-11 (down from 24 at quarter two);
- Overall performance against cancer targets shows a slight improvement, with the number of foundation trusts breaching cancer targets decreasing to 25 (28 in quarter two); and
- Foundation trusts delivered a net surplus (pre-exceptionals) of £330 million at quarter three, which is £55 million ahead of plan.
Commenting on the results, Monitor’s Chair, Dr David Bennett said:
"This is proving to be a challenging year for foundation trusts, but we are encouraged by their performance so far. The vast majority appear to be well run from both a quality and finance perspective. This should mean that they will be well placed to meet the demands of their patients and services users going forward.
"However, there can be no room for complacency. The pressure on local health economies is significant and we are anticipating that contract disputes between foundation trusts and their commissioners will be a bigger issue in the fourth quarter and possibly next year. Foundation trusts will be affected by commissioners’ need to make savings and it is essential that trusts and their commissioners, including the new pathfinder GP consortia, work closely together to find a mutually acceptable response to this challenge. This partnership working will be particularly important in light of the changes proposed in the Health and Social Care Bill and the need to ensure a smooth transition to new ways of working."
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Title: NHS foundation trusts nine months review published
Author: Martine Hamilton
Article Id: 17941
Date Added: 21st Mar 2011