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Monitor finds The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King's Lynn NHS Foundation Trust in significant breach

Monitor, the independent regulator of NHS foundation trusts, has found that the Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust is in significant breach of the terms of its authorisation due to failure to comply with the following terms:

  • General duty to exercise its functions effectively, efficiently and economically;
  • Governance (foundation trust Boards must ensure appropriate arrangements are in place to provide effective leadership and governance).

The Trust has experienced financial problems over the last year stemming from an ongoing failure to plan effectively and to address underlying performance issues. Having recorded a high financial risk for the first two quarters of 2011-12, the Trust subsequently failed to keep up with its financial recovery plan1.  Whilst the Trust is forecasting an improvement by the end of the financial year, it is important that this will be sustained into 2012-13.

Having carefully considered all of the evidence, Monitor has decided not to use its formal powers of intervention at this stage. The Trust will be kept under close scrutiny and required to report to Monitor regularly against the delivery of a robust recovery plan.

Speaking after Monitor’s Compliance Board Committee meeting, Merav Dover, Compliance Director at Monitor, said:

"The concerns we have with this Trust are based on the Board’s failure to plan robustly and to make sure that these plans are followed through. Monitor is taking action at this early stage to ensure that the Trust addresses its underlying performance and financial issues effectively.

"Monitor is very clear that while financial stability gives a platform for performance improvement, efficiency must not be achieved at the expense of quality.  The aim is to ensure that patients in the Kings Lynn area continue to benefit from improved services."

1 The Trust recorded a Financial Risk Rating of 2 for the first two quarters of 2011-12. A financial risk rating of ‘5’ is the best rating given by Monitor - indicating no regulatory concerns. ‘1’ is the worst rating, indicating a high probability of a significant breach of the terms of Authorisation (‘licence’ to operate) in which case formal intervention by Monitor could be necessary.


  1. For media enquiries please contact Isabella Sharp: 020 7340 2442 or 
  2. A copy of Monitor’s decision to find the Trust in significant breach is available on our website here:
  3. More information about how Monitor regulates foundation trusts is available here:
  4. Monitor was established in January 2004. It is independent of government and accountable to Parliament. Monitor’s functions and powers are set out in the National Health Service Act 2006.
  5. Monitor is now on Twitter - follow us @MonitorUpdate

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