Monitor announcement on Musgrove finances - 29 October 2015

Monitor announcement on Musgrove finances - 29 October 2015

Musgrove Park Hospital is embarking on a hospital-wide programme to streamline and modernise its processes, in response to a forecast of budget deficit this year in excess of £8million. 

On Tuesday, 27 October, the NHS Foundation Trust regulator, Monitor, announced that it was taking regulatory action against Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, the organisation that runs Musgrove Park Hospital, because of the financial position.

The action has come after the Trust told Monitor that, while we ended the last financial year with a small surplus, we are predicting an £8.3 million deficit this financial year. We have also been clear that, while we have plans in place to reduce the deficit, there is a risk that, with winter coming, the position could get significantly worse.

Musgrove Park Hospital already scores above average on national measures of how efficiently its services are provided.

However, it saw an unexpected rise this year in its clinical negligence insurance premium of more than £3 million, after the NHS Litigation Authority removed discounts it previously applied to Trusts with good governance processes relating to safety.    

More importantly, we have seen significant increases in demand for both emergency and planned care. This includes a 10% increase year on year for emergency medical admissions to our hospital and over 5% increase in planned admissions, with up to 30% in certain specialty areas. This increase is unaffordable to our health system.

The ‘undertakings’ we have been given by Monitor are to submit short, medium and longer term financial and strategic plans and to appoint a turnaround director to work on delivering efficiencies. This post has to be funded by Musgrove itself and will report to Dr Sam Barrell, chief executive.

Dr Barrell said: “This appointment does give extra capacity to make very swift progress on our immediate cost improvement (efficiency) programme. We see this as a real opportunity to recover our short term position.

“Working closely with Monitor, we will retain our focus on our longer-term plans to deliver a hospital-wide programme of science-based improvement that makes full use of modern technology  and brings real benefits for our patients.

“While we are absolutely committed to making the necessary savings, our primary focus has always been and will remain on our patients and the quality and safety of our care, and this is something on which we will not compromise.”