Monitor has confirmed that a new leadership team has been appointed at one of the most prominent NHS trusts.
The Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust has agreed to appoint a new interim leadership team, after the trust conceded that it was in breach of its license.
According to Monitor regulations, NHS trust services must operate in accordance with regulatory licenses.
And in the case of the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, Monitor recommended that the trust should reorganise its managerial hierarchy.
The trust board has agreed to the action required by the regulator.
Jacqui Smith, the former Labour MP, is currently the Chair at University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB), and will now become interim Chair of the trust.
Smith replaces Les Lawrence who has decided he will step down from the trust at the end of November.
Meanwhile, Dame Julie Moore – currently Chief Executive at UHB – has been appointed interim Chief Executive of Heart of England.
Moore replaces Andrew Foster whose secondment finishes at the end of October.
It has been announced that Smith will continue in her existing role of Chair at UHB while also carrying out her duties relating to Heart of England.
Dame Julie Moore will spend the vast majority of her time at Heart of England while fulfilling the Interim CEO role.
In addition, the board at the trust has made a clear commitment to Monitor that they will take time to develop and implement both short and long-term financial plans in order to improve the fiscal situation of the organisation.
The Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust is just one of many NHS trusts facing fiscal challenges in what is an extremely difficult financial period for the National Health Service.
Commenting on the issue, Dr David Bennett, Chief Executive of Monitor, pointed to these economic issues as being central to the decision to appoint new executives.
“Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust has significant financial problems, having run up a £29.5 million deficit already this year. It is clear urgent action is needed,” Bennett stated.
Bennett went on to point out that the individuals recruited already had an excellent reputation in the eyes of Monitor.
“By appointing two people whose leadership at University Hospitals Birmingham has been rated as outstanding by the Care Quality Commission, we can provide the trust with the strong leadership it needs to live within its means and keep delivering the care patients need,” Bennett asserted.
It is estimated that the NHS will accumulate a deficit of £2 billion by the end of the financial year, and the decisions made by Monitor in this instance will probably not be the last example of re-organisation among NHS trusts.