The health regulator Monitor has stepped in to address problems in a trust based in Somerset.
Monitor has decided to take action on behalf of patients at Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, with the organisation is struggling to deal with financial difficulty.
An investigation has been carried out into the finances of the trust, and the regulator has decided that Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust has failed in its responsibilities to its patients.
Monitor believes that the interest is effectively a breach of its license to provide NHS services.
According to the latest calculations from the health regulator, the trust is expected to lose in the region of £8.3 million during this financial year.
Although the Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust has put a plan in place to address the situation, its recovery scheme is currently failing to make sufficient inroads into the deficit.
Indeed, Monitor currently believes that there is a risk that the financial position of the trust may deteriorate further.
And the health regulator asserts that there are currently insufficient plans in place in order to mitigate against this threat.
Among the actions requested by Monitor is the appointment of a so-called ‘turnaround director’, whose responsibility it will be to support and challenge the trust as requisite improvements are put in place.
Commenting on the situation at the trust, Paul Streat, Regional Director at Monitor, expressed the concerns of the health regulator at the financial position of the Somerset-based institution.
“We’re concerned that the trust is losing money and hasn’t yet developed the right plans to tackle its financial problems. These problems are fairly recent. We are stepping in early to ensure that the trust can quickly get its finances back on track,” Streat commented.
Streat also confirmed the plans of the regulator to install a turnaround director.
“The trust will also be appointing a turnaround director who will use their expertise to help the trust board make the improvements needed. We are confident that with this support it can recover its finances and continue to provide quality care to patients in Somerset.”
Finally, Streat indicated that Monitor intends to keep a close eye on the situation, and that it is very much an ongoing one with the trust having the opportunity to prove that it has improved financially.
“The regulator will closely Monitor the trust’s progress against its financial recovery plan, and will take further action if necessary for patients,” Streat explained.