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Monitor announces investigation into A&E target breaches at South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust

Health sector regulator Monitor yesterday announced that it is investigating whether South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust has breached conditions of its licence.

The Trust's failure to meet the A&E 4 hour waiting time target in 5 out of the last 8 financial quarters has led to potential governance concerns which Monitor will now scrutinise.

The investigation is one of the first investigations to take place under Monitor’s new provider licence regulatory regime which came into force on April 1 2013. This aims to protect and promote patients interests. Monitor has also launched investigations into Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust after the Trusts failed to meet financial and governance standards.

The health sector regulator will ask the Trusts to explain why they have experienced problems and what they are doing to address them. If Monitor finds that the Trusts are unable to address these issues quickly and effectively they may find the Trusts to be in breach of their licence conditions and take enforcement action.

Monitor is investigating the trust for the following reasons:

  • Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has failed to meet C. Difficile, MRSA, A&E 4 hour waiting time and the Referral to Treatment (admitted patients) targets.
  • Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has a predicted financial deficit.
  • South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust has persistent breaches of A&E targets.
  • University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust has persistent breaches of A&E targets.

We will meet with the boards of the four Trusts and will make an announcement about the result of the investigations once we have reviewed the evidence. 

Adam Cayley, Regional Director at Monitor, said:

"These trusts are experiencing problems and we are investigating at an early stage to find out why these problems have occurred. Monitor has not yet reached a view as to whether there has been any breach of the licence conditions.

"Patients expect to see their services run well and by investigating at this early stage we can make sure that the Ttrusts are able to address any issues quickly and effectively."

Notes to editors

  • For media enquiries please contact Isabella Sharp, Media Relations Manager, on 020 7340 2442 (isabella.sharp@monitor.gov.uk)
  • Monitor is the sector regulator of NHS-funded health care services. Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 its main duty is to protect and promote the interests of patients
  • Information about Monitor's role can be found here
  • Monitor's Enforcement Guidance sets out the procedure we will follow when we become aware of a potential breach of the licence. When we decide to begin an investigation, we will notify the provider, set out what we are investigating, the key contacts at Monitor and the expected timetable. The provider will be given the opportunity to make representations. Monitor's Enforcement Guidance press release can be found here
  • NHS foundation trusts with known or potential breaches of the provider licence can be found here
  • Follow us on Twitter - @MonitorUpdate

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