The regulator found that there are reasonable grounds to suspect the trust has breached its licence to provide NHS-funded health services.
The trust will now draw up and deliver a financial recovery plan to reduce its deficit as well as a longer term strategic plan to allow it to provide services on a sustainable basis.
Monitor has also added a further condition to the trust’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 in future if necessary.
Paul Chandler, Regional Director at Monitor, said:
This trust provides crucial healthcare services to the population of Sunderland, as well as some more specialist services to a wider patient population. It is vital that the trust resolves its financial problems so that it can continue to provide those services on a sustainable basis.
We expect the trust to develop a credible financial recovery plan and then make sure that plan is delivered.
Monitor will continue to scrutinise the trust’s performance and may take further regulatory action if needed.