Monitor has stated that it is currently in the process of investigating the finances of a hospital trust.
Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is currently running at a £12.6m deficit.
The health regulator indicated that the foundation trust had reported a significant deterioration in funds over the last few months.
Monitor remains concerned that the trust will ultimately record a massive loss over the existing financial year, which would be particularly disturbing considering the figures predicted for this trust previously.
At one time earlier this year it was expected that the trust would record a surplus of £2.2 million.
Considering the rapid decline in its financial situation, the trust has indicated that it will be fully cooperating with the investigation, and has conceded that such an initiative is justified.
Doncaster Royal Infirmary, Bassetlaw District General Hospital, Retford Hospital and Montagu Hospital in Mexborough are run by the trust.
Monitor stated with regard to his ongoing investigation that the financial position of the trust may necessitate the foundation trust to apply for further support for funding in the future.
Central to the investigation will be an examination of how the unexpected deficit has occurred in the foundation trust.
Paul Chandler, regional director at Monitor, commented on the issue at the Doncaster institution, striking a note of caution regarding the investigation.
“People are relying on Doncaster and Bassetlaw to provide them with high quality healthcare now and in the future. Therefore, we need to make sure the trust can do this in a sustainable way and within its budget.”
Mike Pinkerton, chief executive of Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals, conceded that the investigation being undertaken by Monitor was a reasonable course of action.
“On 20th October, the trust announced inaccuracies in the reporting of the trust’s financial position. An internal and external investigation into how our finances have been managed is already under way. As a trust, we will be working hard to maximise savings by remaining focussed on putting patient care first and scrutinising how we currently do things.”
Just last week, the Care Quality Commission reported on Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and found that the hospital trust required improvement.
The Care Quality Commission indicated that staff vacancies were “impacting on the quality of service” in some areas, but did praise the trust over several areas of outstanding practice.
Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is certainly not the first foundation trust investigated by Monitor in recent weeks, and the depth of its financial problems are perhaps less severe than some.