Monitor has opened the investigation to find a lasting solution to long-standing problems at the Princess Royal University Hospital (PRUH).
The regulator is concerned that some patients are waiting too long for A&E treatment and routine operations, and that the trust is predicting a deficit of more than £40 million this financial year. This deterioration in its operational and financial performance follows the unexpected costs of making urgent improvements to the quality of care at the PRUH.
Longstanding clinical, operational and financial problems at the PRUH led trust special administrators to recommend the trust take over the running of the troubled Bromley hospital in 2013.
Monitor has been working with King’s for a number of months to get a better picture of the challenges it faces. Through this work, it has become clear that achieving the necessary financial and operational turnaround at the PRUH is a greater challenge than initially anticipated.
The regulator has now decided to open a formal investigation to trigger a regulatory process that would enable Monitor to use its legal powers to underpin the changes the trust needs to make.
Mark Turner, Regional Director at Monitor, said:
King’s has been working hard to improve the quality of care provided at the Princess Royal University Hospital, but it is clear that the challenge is much greater than originally anticipated.
Our investigation will help us decide what resources and support King’s needs to deal with its financial problems and reduce waiting times for patients.
Monitor will announce the outcome of the investigation, and whether it is taking any further action, in due course.