Monitor actions

Commitment to quality continues – Monitor

In October 2013 Monitor, the external regulator of NHS foundation trusts began an investigation that looked at our:

  • Failure to achieve the referral to treatment 18 week target for admitted patients
  • Rate of Clostridium difficile infection
  • Mortality rate
  • Never events

Earlier this year the investigation was widened to include the trust’s financial deficit for 2013-14.

For a number of months we have worked closely with Monitor to help the regulator understand the situation that led to the position we found ourselves in – and we have worked hard to address the key areas of concern. Today, Monitor has decided to take no further action on:

  • Referral to treatment – as we have been compliant with this target since April 2014
  • Never events – as we have a much lower rate than the national average
  •  Mortality – as we are not an outlier compared to others in the North East

However, like us, Monitor remains concerned about our financial position and rate of clostridium difficile infections and is requiring us to take a number of actions to address both issues.

Prior to Monitor’s announcement today (2 July 2014) we had already:

  • Developed and begun to implement a Clostridium difficile action plan
  • Commissioned another external review of our arrangements to prevent Clostridium difficile
  • Begun work on a detailed financial recovery plan, supported by McKinsey
  • Agreed to appoint a transformation director to help drive through changes needed to make the organisation even more efficient while at the same time safeguarding, and where possible, improving the quality of our services.

Chief executive Professor Tricia Hart said: “We welcome external scrutiny of our activities and so are happy to accept any extra support that Monitor can offer.

The trust has always had a strong focus on providing high quality, safe services – something that has been recognised locally, regionally and nationally – and while we are facing some touch challenges, not least our financial position, our commitment to providing excellent services and care for our patients will not change.

Our staff have proved time and time again that when things are tough they pull together and get the job done – and I am sure that over the coming months we will demonstrate that same spirit to address these latest challenges.”

Video message from chief executive