More change and transformation in the sector with news from Monitor, the sector regulator for care. Hot on the heels of the South London Healthcare NHS Trust being placed into administration, Monitor’s board announced last week that it has taken the unprecedented step of starting the first Foundation Trust (FT) down the road to being placed into administration.

Mid Staffordshire FT has been in difficulty for quite a while but the report from the Contingency Planning Team made clear that there was only one sensible course of action, which Monitor have now set in motion.

Gone are the days of special payments being made to FTs in difficulty, now Monitor has stepped up to the plate with positive action.  There is a responsibility for Trusts to be both clinically and financially sound and sustainable – and with that responsibility comes accountability and transparency.

FT Boards have a challenging role and in today’s financial climate the bar has been raised – but let us not tar all FTs with same brush or let this action further degrade the name of the NHS and the thousands who do sterling work in it.  What Boards are being asked to deliver is significant and in many cases well beyond the norm.  We need to ensure that Boards are equipped in the short term to deliver on the requirements and, in parallel mentored and trained to meet the challenges yet to come.

Monitor has the multiple challenge of looking across all of the FTs, but Boards should be clear that whilst Monitor is the sector regulator, it will not hesitate to take positive action when required.

What is your opinion on NHS reform? Are Monitor doing the right thing?


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