Hospital trust is warned over its finances

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THE cash-strapped trust which runs the area’s new hospital has come under pressure from a health regulator.

Bosses of the Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Trust have been told their estimated £38m deficit and lack of progress to create a plan to improve the situation has caused concern among officials of Monitor, which oversees foundation trusts.

Now Monitor has issued a stern warning letter saying the trust is in breach of some of the conditions under which it was set up.

Officials have threatened to step in if the trust, which runs the £289m Peterborough City Hospital, which opened in November last year, fails to resolve the problems.

Restructuring director at Monitor, Richard Guest, said: “This trust has significant financial problems following its move to a new hospital.

“We believe this is due to a lack of planning to address the higher costs resulting from the move and a failure to improve productivity.

“It’s crucial that the trust has a plan in place to improve its financial position and address our concerns.

““We will be keeping the trust under close scrutiny and holding the board to account to ensure it works with the NHS Peterborough commissioners to find a long-term solution to the financial challenges.”

Monitor said the trust had breached its terms of authorisation in three areas: failing to exercise its functions effectively, efficiently and economically; governance; and financial viability.

The warning adds: “Should the trust fail to deliver timely and sustainable progress, Monitor is likely to consider formal intervention.”

Trust chairman Nigel Hards said the announcement related only to the trust’s financial situation and not its ability to provide care to patients.

He added: “Monitor will continue to scrutinise progress, in particular the delivery and implementation of our turnaround plan.

“Whilst we are working to address our financial position we continue to ensure our top priority is the delivery of high quality care to our patients.

“Our challenge is to drive quality improvements and meet all our compliance and financial requirements.”