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Trusts rated as 'excellent' in serious financial trouble

19th September 2012

The chief executive of the regulator Monitor has told the Public Accounts Committee that 11 NHS trusts previously rated as "excellent" would not be given the same rating today.

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David Bennett told MPs that the trusts, which are suffering from financial problems, would not be named as foundation trusts if they were re-assessed now.

He said Derby Hospital Trust's financial performance was poor and its board did not play enough of a part in examining its financial plans.

The regulator found Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Lynn had failed to look at "underlying performance issues" and had failed to "plan effectively".

Mr Bennett told the committee that 13 more foundation trusts were being investigated by Monitor because of their financial issues.

He added that Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust had severe financial problems because of a private finance initiative.

Mr Bennett said the regulator "got it wrong" when they awarded Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust with foundation trust status.

'We clearly got it wrong in the case of Mid Staffs,' he said.

He added that Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals was given foundation trust status but was discovered two years later to be "in significant breach of its terms of authorisation because of poor finances".

Mr Bennett said: 'I have asked the question, "Can we tell to what extent that they pulled the wool over our eyes during assessment or was it that circumstances changed? It is difficult to tell what is the case."

 

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