The health sector regulator is taking action on behalf of patients at St George’s University Hospitals to ensure the trust fixes its finances and improves how it is run.
As a result, the trust has agreed to take a number of positive steps to improve its financial sustainability, including:
- creating and implementing a short-term financial recovery plan
- drawing up and carrying out an action plan to improve its financial planning and management
- develop and deliver a robust long-term strategic plan
St George’s has also agreed to work with other NHS organisations in its local area to develop these plans.
Monitor has also added a further condition to St George’s licence that requires an improvement in the performance of its board in dealing with the issues the trust faces. This will enable the health regulator to take further regulatory action if necessary.
Mark Turner, Regional Director at Monitor said:
St George’s faces some serious financial challenges and needs to act decisively, so that patients can continue to receive quality healthcare.
Our action is designed to support the trust in getting a better grip on its finances by improving their financial management and planning.
These steps if implemented effectively and promptly should enable the trust to stabilise its financial position and improve how it is run.
The health regulator’s intervention comes after a sudden deterioration in St George’s finances led to it recording a £16.8 million loss for 2014-15. Monitor is concerned as St George’s is predicting a £46.2 million loss for 2015-16 which would be the third largest deficit in the foundation trust sector.
It is also concerned that St George’s doesn’t have an adequate recovery plan; and may be forced to apply for several millions of pounds of additional funding.
Monitor is scrutinising the trust’s financial and board performance to ensure the necessary improvements are made quickly.