Regulator Takes Action To Tackle Large Deficit At St George's

The healthcare regulator, Monitor, is taking action to fix financial and governance problems at St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. No concerns have been raised about the level of care being deliveried at the hospital. 

The press release from Monitor is below:

"Monitor, is taking action on behalf of patients at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to ensure the trust fixes its finances and improves how it is run.

As a result, the trust has agreed to take a number of positive steps to improve its financial sustainability, including:

  • creating and implementing a short-term financial recovery plan;
  • drawing up and carrying out an action plan to improve its financial planning and management; and
  • develop and deliver a robust long-term strategic plan.

St George’s has also agreed to work with other NHS organisations in its local area to develop these plans.

Monitor has also added a further condition to St George’s licence that requires an improvement in the performance of its board in dealing with the issues the trust faces. This will enable the health regulator to take further regulatory action if necessary.

Mark Turner, Regional Director at Monitor said:

“St George’s faces some serious financial challenges and needs to act decisively, so that patients can continue to receive quality healthcare.

“Our action is designed to support the trust in getting a better grip on its finances by improving their financial management and planning.

“These steps if implemented effectively and promptly should enable the trust to stabilise its financial position and improve how it is run.”

The health regulator’s intervention comes after a sudden deterioration in St George’s finances led to it recording a £16.8m loss for 2014-15. Monitor is concerned as St George’s is predicting a £46.2m loss for 2015-16 which would be the third largest deficit in the foundation trust sector.

It is also concerned that St George’s doesn’t have an adequate recovery plan; and may be forced to apply for several millions of pounds of additional funding.

Monitor is scrutinising the trust’s financial and board performance to ensure the necessary improvements are made quickly.