As the NHS continues to face financial difficulties in a wide variety of different sectors, the regulator Monitor is continually assessing the validity of various organisations within the NHS.
In this context, that regulator has recently been forced to open an investigation into the rapidly deteriorating financial position at the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust.
This trust is one of the 152 foundation trusts currently located in Britain, with over 60 per cent of these organisations being based in England.
According to reports close to the body, the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust is currently expected to run a deficit in the fiscal year.
This has led the regulator to open an investigation which will be focused on the financial validity and credibility of the organisation.
The Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust is a large and very significant NHS foundation trust, currently providing services for in the region of 1.2 million people in the Midlands region.
Since it was established, the trust has served people in Birmingham, Solihull, Sutton Coldfield and South Staffordshire, and is considered vital to the local community in this region.
However, the £29.5 million deficit that has been reported in relation to this organisation has led to the financial regulator stepping in.
What makes the deficit figure even more serious is the fact that it has been accumulated in merely the first five months of the financial year.
Reports have suggested that the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust has been forced to utilise its cash reserves in order to ensure that the everyday running of the organisation can continue unabated.
Monitor is apparently concerned that the deterioration is gathering pace, and also that there is a lack of a robust plan to address the serious financial issues that the trust is facing.
The health regulator will be investigating to seek to understand the underlying financial risk that the Birmingham-based organisation faces, and what indeed can be done to remedy the situation.
Speaking about the decision related to the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, Marianne Loynes, Regional Director at Monitor, emphasised that the investigation would seek possible solutions to the existing situation.
“This trust has slipped worryingly into the red, using its cash reserves to prop up the day-to-day running. A deficit of £29.5 million in 5 months is simply not acceptable and we want to establish what can be done to ensure the trust continues to provide the services local patients value,” Loyes commented.
An announcement about the outcome of the investigation will be made in the next few weeks.