Tim Farron has welcomed this afternoon's announcement by MONITOR that it will be imposing drastic changes on the governing board that is responsible for the running of the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust. Tim says that this intervention will help to restore the highest possible levels of care at the trust.
MONITOR, the independent regulator or NHS foundation trusts, conducted a review into the governance of the hospital trust after its board found the Trust in significant breach of the terms of its Authorisation in October 2011. MONITOR has stated that their initial concerns have been confirmed by the findings of the review and have therefore decided to intervene in an attempt to fix the problems identified.
Monitor's intervention will therefore:
- Appoint Sir David Henshaw as interim Chair to drive the recovery of the trust;
- Require the Trust to appoint a Turnaround Director, to be agreed with Monitor, to develop and deliver an effective recovery plan;
- Instruct the Trust to create a Programme Management Office to support the Turnaround Director in delivering the recovery plan; and
- Require the Trust to appoint an interim Chief Operating Officer, to be agreed with Monitor, to run the day to day activities of the trust across all its hospital sites.
The hospital Trust will be required to report back regularly on it progress in implementing these actions.
Commenting this afternoon Tim said: "This is a welcome intervention, but a damning indictment of the management of the Trust and the decisions it has made over the past five or six years.
"Monitor's criticism is extreme, but accurate and I am especially pleased that they have listened to my calls to appoint a new Chair who is from outside the current team and who has a wealth of experience working within the NHS.
"Imposing new senior managers, who are clean and who have not been involved in the poor decisions taken that led to the situation we are in now, such as the closure of the heart unit at Westmorland General Hospital is an important step forward. It is just a shame that is has taken this length of time, and the input of external forces to deal with the problem."
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