Press release

Waiting times set to improve for Somerset hospital but finances worsen

Patients at Musgrove Park Hospital can expect to be treated more quickly, following an investigation by Monitor.

The health sector regulator investigated waiting times for day-case and inpatient procedures, and for outpatient procedures, at Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust which serves patients from across Somerset.

Monitor worked with the trust to help it develop robust plans to reduce waiting times without the need for regulatory action. The trust has agreed to work with local partners to continue to make improvements.

However, the regulator now has concerns over the trust’s financial position. Therefore, Monitor is turning its investigation away from waiting times and instead examining the trust’s finances.

Paul Streat, Regional Director at Monitor, said:

We’re pleased that the trust has worked with us to develop strong plans to speed up how quickly patients are being treated. It’s good news for patients and the hospital that these problems are now being tackled without the need for formal regulatory action.

But we now need to find out why the trust’s financial position is worsening, for example if there is a link to their efforts to tackle waiting times. We will continue working with the trust to identify what it could do to improve its finances for patients in Somerset.

No decision has yet been made by Monitor on whether further action will be needed to fix the financial issues at the trust. Monitor will announce the outcome of the refocused investigation once it is completed.