Sunday, 1 February 2015

Health: Hospital trust told to balance its books by regulator

Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust must take urgent steps to improve its financial position and the performance of its board, following an investigation by Monitor.

The health sector regulator found that the Trust’s board of directors could have done more to prevent the financial problems from arising.

The Trust has agreed to appoint an independent turnaround director, develop a credible plan to improve its finances, and commission a review of how well the board leads the organisation.

Paul Chandler, regional director at Monitor, said: “The Trust’s financial position is very serious and projections show it could get worse over the coming months.

“We have acted on behalf of patients and the Trust will now take steps to balance its books and to improve how the Board provides leadership.

“We expect the Trust to make improvements quickly for its patients and we will be keeping a close eye on its performance to make sure these problems don’t happen again.”

The regulator will continue to scrutinise the trust’s performance as it takes the steps needed and will take further action if required.

Coun Tim Swift, leader of the Labour group on Calderdale Council, has criticised the move. He said: “We are very concerned about what this could mean for local services.

“This is precisely why we proposed a motion at the last full council calling for emergency financial help for the Trust from central Government, and warned that Monitor’s intervention must not be an excuse for pushing through changes to hospital reconfiguration which are not supported by evidence or backed by the public.”

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