Hospital in Northamptonshire ordered to take action after ‘failing its A&E patients’

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A health watchdog has found Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in “significant breach” due to its persistent failure to meet its A&E four hour target.

Monitor also has concerns about its board governance and financial performance.

To address these concerns Monitor requires the trust to improve its A&E performance through a “robust action plan”.

It must also take “rapid action” to strengthen the 2012/13 financial plan, with particular focus on cost savings and cash management as well as commission a review of its board governance.

Monitor’s chief operating officer Stephen Hay said: “We have been tracking the trust’s performance for some time and are requiring action to be taken because it is not acceptable that the trust is persistently failing its A&E patients.

“We now expect the trust to focus on immediately and sustainably resolving this issue.

“We require the trust to scope out a review of its board’s governance and immediately improve its 2012/13 financial plan to deliver effective cost savings. As part of this the trust needs to get to grips with its cash flow.”

KGH board members are now required to report to Monitor on its monthly performance. Monitor will use its regulatory powers to take action if the board does not deliver the required improvements within the specified timescales.

Conservative Party Candidate for Corby and East Northamptonshire in the forhcoming by-election, Christine Emmett, said: “Everyone should welcome the input of this independent regulator, which ensures the highest standards across the health service.

“While we share Monitor’s concerns about A&E services, the hospital has shown improvement in this area and did exceed the 95 per cent target of admitting or discharging patients within four hours of arrival in the last quarter.

“We are pleased to see the hospital has a plan to address its financial deficit without cutting services for patients; at the same time the hospital needs to quickly address the issues raised by Monitor over governance.

“As a member of the trust of KGH, Andy Sawford would have been aware of these issues going back several months. It is regrettable that instead of raising legitimate concerns and ensuring the best possible service for patients, he has instead chosen to use the hospital as a political football in an irresponsible and desperate bid to get elected.

“The responsible thing for Labour, and in particular Andy Sawford, to do now is to support Monitor and Healthier Together in their efforts to ensure the best possible health care for the people of Corby and East Northamptonshire.”