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Monitor Board’s decision on Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Monitor, the independent regulator of NHS foundation trusts, has found that Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is in significant breach of the terms of its Authorisation.

This decision is based on concerns in relation to the Trust’s financial position and its governance arising from: failure to meet its financial plan at Quarter 1 2010/11; not ensuring appropriate resources and governance arrangements were in place to deliver the annual plan; and signing a contract which left the Trust with an unacceptably high level of financial risk.

Having considered the available evidence, Monitor’ board decided not to use its formal intervention powers at this stage. However, the Trust’s performance going forward will be reviewed against specific milestones and actions. If it fails to demonstrate timely and sustainable progress towards full compliance with its terms of authorisation, Monitor is likely to consider formal intervention. 

David Bennett, Interim Chief Executive of Monitor, said:

“Monitor’s job is to make sure that foundation trusts are well-led, that their leaders are focused on the quality of care patients get and that they are financially strong. We do this on behalf of patients and taxpayers.

“Our regulatory system is designed to expose issues and drive improvement, not cover up problems. We believe it is important that problems are identified quickly so that action can be taken to address them.

“As a rule, Monitor wants foundation trust boards to fix their own problems – we consider them to be the front line of regulation, responsible for understanding the cause of problems and taking action to deliver solutions. But if they don’t do so quickly and effectively, we step in.

“The focus is now on the future and taking the actions necessary to ensure the continued provision of high quality patient services from a secure financial platform. Monitor has considerable experience of working with foundation trusts with financial problems that have been successfully resolved. We will be working closely the board at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to achieve this.”

Notes to editors

  1. For media enquiries please contact Veena Hudson, Head of External Affairs, on 020 7340 2446.
  2. The letter to Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust confirming the board’s decision to find the Trust in significant breach is available on Monitor’s website: http://www.monitor-nhsft.gov.uk/home/about-nhs-foundation-trusts/regulat...
  3. The terms of authorisation are the requirements that set out what is expected of an NHS foundation trust. Details of the terms of authorisation for each foundation trust are available on Monitor’s website: http://www.monitor-nhsft.gov.uk/home/about-nhs-foundation-trusts/nhs-fou...
  4. Monitor’s powers are broad and range from requiring the board to undertake specific actions, to removing any, or all, of the directors or governors and appointing replacements, or closing a specific service. More information about Monitor’s approach to regulation is available here: http://www.monitor-nhsft.gov.uk/home/about-nhs-foundation-trusts/regulat...

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