The Monitor regulatory body has deferred the foundation trust application of an NHS trust based in Liverpool.
Monitor has delayed a decision on the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust’s application to become a foundation trust for 12 months.
This trust provides specialist and acute services to more than 465,000 people across Liverpool.
Monitor carried out a stringent assessment on the trust, and concluded that financial planning within the body needs further attention.
The regulatory agency therefore took the decision to delay the application of the Merseyside-based trust for another year.
The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust must now work on improving the deficiencies that Monitor established in its assessment of the organisation.
However, it wasn’t all bad news for the Liverpool trust. Monitor did conclude that the body had shown significant improvement with regard to the way that it manages the quality of care.
It seems that the concerns of Monitor were largely related to the fiscal situation of the health trust, and could have been exacerbated by the general state of the NHS.
Many trusts across the United Kingdom have experienced financial difficulties over the last few years, and indeed Monitor is currently assessing the efficacy of several such bodies and organisations.
Monitor also acknowledged that the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust had made significant progress with its attempts to strengthen its board, but that the organisation still had important steps to take in order to ensure that the trust was viable.
In particular, the regulatory body stressed the need for the Liverpool-based organisation to further develop robust plans in order to provide good value-for-money services for patients in the longer-term.
Commenting on the decision of the regulatory organisation, Miranda Carter, Executive Director of Provider Appraisal at Monitor, explained he context of deferring the decision on whether Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen should become a foundation trust for a year.
“In light of the new hospital it is building we want to give the trust more time to improve its financial plans. The next year will also give the trust time to induct new board members and to develop its plans to participate in Healthy Liverpool to improve care across Liverpool,” Carter explained.
The existing NHS structure encompasses 151 trusts spread across their entirety of England, which accounts for 60 per cent of all the trusts in the NHS as a whole.
Foundation trust status enables patients to have a greater and more direct to say in their specific healthcare.
Additionally, foundation trusts were conceived in order to enable these organisations to have greater freedom in crafting services to match the needs of individual regions.
NHS foundation trusts are effectively free from central government control, able to retain any surpluses for further investment, and intended to be directly accountable to local communities.
It is also notable that local people serve as members and governors in such bodies.
Although the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust has been denied this honour and responsibility for the time being, the verdict from Monitor suggests that there is light at the end of the tunnel for the NHS trust.