Monitor, regulator of NHS foundation trusts, has used its statutory powers to intervene on a “financial governance” matter following a “significant failure” by the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases foundation trust to comply with its terms of authorisation.
The “significant failure” relates to a “requirement for a restatement of the Trust’s accounts for 2006/07, reflecting an increase in losses from £40k to £650k, and further significant operating losses in 2007/08.”
The Trust “delivered financial losses over the period from April 2006 to March 2008, the full extent of which were not brought to the attention of the Trust Board or disclosed to Monitor until June 2008, following re-statement of the Trust’s accounts by the external auditors.” The trusts financial risk rating has, as a consequence, droped to ‘1’ – denoting the highest level of financial risk.
In taking action, Monitor recognised that “…[the Chair and his] non-executive colleagues are largely new to the role over the last six months, and that one non-executive is shortly to take up their position.”
Monitor also stressed that they had “….no concerns as to the quality of the clinical care provided by the Trust to its patients” and that the failings “….should not be construed as providing any comment as to the capabilities and competencies, or otherwise, of the Trust’s Board or the executive team, or of Monitor’s confidence in them.”
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