latest health care news

18.09.15

Royal Liverpool not at FT level yet – but gets more time to prove itself

Monitor has deferred its decision to turn Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University Hospitals into a foundation trust amid concerns that it must still develop its current financial planning.

It deferred the decision by 12 months after a rigorous assessment that determined the trust’s shaky financial strategies require more robust plans to provide more efficient services in the long term.

But it found that the trust has shown improvements in the way it manages the quality of its care. It has also taken steps to strengthen its board.

Miranda Carter, executive director of provider appraisal at the regulator, said: “In light of the new hospital it is building we want to give the trust more time to improve its financial plans.

“The next year will also give the trust time to induct new board members and to develop its plans to participate in Healthy Liverpool to improve care across Liverpool.”

NHS foundation trusts, which make up 60% of all trusts in the health service, can give patients a greater say in their healthcare and have broader freedom to tailor their services according to local needs.

CQC inspectors identified in July 2014 that the trust had improved across five areas targeted in a previous inspection. Staff numbers had been increased and staff were being better supported by training, policies were more robust and a new system ensured the emergency department had access to medication around the clock.

But inspectors found that the trust still needed more work to improve its risk management processes and ensure these are sustainable for the future.

Shortly after that, in December, the trust was ordered to recover thousands of pounds paid to non-executive directors (NEDs) after it admitted it “did not have the authority” to make the payments.

The trust had said payments were made for extra work put in by the NEDs to prepare the business case of its new hospital, which was built at a cost of £329m.

But David Flory, the chief executive of the NHS Trust Development Authority (TDA), wrote to the chief executive of the Royal ordering the trust to commission an independent review of the payments and the authorisation process to see if it breached strict rules.

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