Swindon: Trust Who Run Great Western Hospital Take Action To Balance The Books

The trust who run Swindon's Great Western Hospital has agreed to take action to improve it's finances after an investigation by the health services regulator.

Great Western Hospital Barry Batchelor/PA Archive/

It's after Monitor found Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust "in breach of its licence to provide services to patients in Swindon and Wiltshire, because it lacked both a robust financial recovery plan and a plan to ensure it continues to provide services for patients in the long term."

Monitor said, in particular, the trust needs to be more efficient with with how well it manages the money it spends on agency staff and how effectively it discharges patients once their treatment is complete.

But Monitor said "In recognition that the trust can’t fix all of these problems alone, Monitor has been coordinating action between local health organisations to help reduce costs while ensuring patients across Swindon and Wiltshire continue to receive services."

Monitor have told Heart they will continue to scrutinise the trust's performance as it delivers plans to fix its problems.

They have stressed however, they "will take further action for patients if necessary."

The Great Western NHS Foundation Trust say their finances are a big challenge - but they say one which "cannot be fixed alone".

The Trust says they are developing a 'financial recovery plan' but say it will "take time" to get their "books into balance".

They have also highlighted, despite their financial position, "no concerns have been raised about the quality of treatment and care we provide to patients."

Their statement is here in full:

"Over the coming months we will be providing assurances to Monitor, the regulator for health services in England, that we have plans to improve our financial position.

We have been working with Monitor since October and have agreed to a series of actions to improve our financial performance, sustainability and governance.

We will also be developing a financial recovery plan to get our books back into balance, but it will take time.

Despite our financial position, no concerns have been raised about the quality of treatment and care we provide to patients.

Our finances are a big challenge which cannot be fixed alone.

Together with our local health and social care partners we must address the increasing demand for healthcare.

We are already working with other local health and social care organisations to ensure that patients can leave hospital when they no longer need this level of care, making space for those who do.

Over the coming months we will be providing assurances to Monitor that we have the capacity and capability to build a financially secure future, whilst maintaining safe and high quality patient care."

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