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Monitor instructs Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Monitor is today taking regulatory action to ensure that Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has strong leadership, is delivering high quality services for local patients and is financially viable.

The Trust was found in significant breach of its terms of authorisation on 21 September and a special meeting of Monitor’s Board has decided to exercise formal powers to require remedial action on a number of fronts:

  • Following the resignation of Tracey Doucét, Monitor has appointed Chris Mellor as interim Chair of the Trust Board.
  • Following the appointment of Eric Morton as interim CEO, Monitor insists that it should be fully engaged in securing a permanent appointment.
  • In the light of emerging concerns about faulty tissue tests for breast cancer patients, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is to carry out an urgent inspection into breast cancer screening, pathology and clinical governance at the Trust. The process will begin on Monday 8 October. The inspection team will include experts in breast screening, pathology and clinical governance. The CQC has also agreed to carry out a “deep dive” review to reassure Monitor that it has no concerns about standards of patient care elsewhere at the Trust.
  • Monitor has instructed the Trust to commission a series of reviews including: a review of quality governance; a review of Board governance; an independent external review of the Trust’s financial situation; and a strategic review of long term options for financial viability.

Monitor's Chief Operating Officer, Stephen Hay said: "We are using our formal regulatory powers of intervention because we are concerned the Trust has failed to get to grips with the scale of the problems it faces.

"In addition to the Trust’s financial difficulties our concern about its leadership has been heightened by the disclosure that some breast cancer patients are to receive an apology from the Trust and an urgent review of their treatment after an investigation into faulty pathology test results.

"The reviews we have commissioned will assess whether or not this issue was identified and dealt with sufficiently promptly. If either the CQC’s inspection, or the Trust’s own external expert review, reveals any other matters of concern we will not hesitate to intervene again."

Monitor had already increased its regulatory scrutiny because of financial and governance concerns. We stepped in because the Trust’s financial performance had rapidly deteriorated after it made a £5.9m loss in quarter one this year having failed to deliver recurrent savings of £10m in the last financial year.

Eric Morton will take over from Mark Goldman, whose own contract as interim CEO expires on 15th October.

Notes for editors

  • For media enquiries please contact Emma Shepherd on 020 7340 2438
  • A copy of Monitor's intervention is available here
  • A copy of Monitor’s decision to find the Trust in significant breach on 21 September is available here
  • More information about how Monitor regulates foundation trusts is available here
  • 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.
  • Monitor is now on Twitter - follow us @MonitorUpdate

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