Monitor has opened investigations into 2 NHS foundation trusts in East Anglia to understand why some patients are waiting too long for treatment at one trust and why finances have deteriorated at the other.
The health regulator is concerned that the issues at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust could indicate underlying problems in the way each trust is being run. Monitor does not believe that the issues at the 2 trusts, despite their proximity, are related to each other.
Monitor will look into why Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals has missed a number of key national waiting time targets for A&E, cancer care and ensuring most patients wait less than 18 weeks for operations.
The regulator would like to understand whether the issue of patients waiting too long indicates wider problems with the way the trust is run.
Laura Mills, Deputy Regional Director at Monitor, said:
Some patients are waiting too long for treatment at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals and this has given Monitor cause for concern. Our investigation will establish what further action, if any, is needed to improve services for patients.
Monitor also today launched an investigation at Norfolk and Suffolk after it reported an unplanned financial deficit of £1.7 million and a recent external review identified concerns about the way the trust is run.
Mrs. Mills added:
We are taking a closer look at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust to understand the way the Board works and why the trust is making such a big loss.
The aim of the investigation is to get to the bottom of these issues and to understand whether or not we need to step in.
No decision has yet been made on whether further regulatory action will be taken at either trust.