Monitor has found Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust in significant breach of its terms of authorisation.
The trust has recently come under close scrutiny by the NHS foundation trust regulator and has been red rated for governance risk as a result of successive failure to meet several healthcare targets including waiting time for cancer treatments and A&E performance.
Monitor is concerned about the “multiple occurrences of preventable patient safety incidents and poor financial performance” at the trust.
Managing director of provider regulation Stephen Hay said: “This is not the first time we have called the trust in to explain itself. We are disappointed that the board has not resolved these issues.”
“We note the trust has a new chair and will shortly appoint a new chief executive. We expect them to demonstrate they are getting the trust back on track as quickly as possible."
The trust is required to report regularly to Monitor on its progress.
Trust board chair Jane Ramsey said in a statement: “We take Monitor’s concerns very seriously and we are determined to reverse the situation as soon as possible.
" My top priority, as the new chairman, will be to get to grips with these performance issues with my team and we will be setting up a taskforce to swiftly get back on track.”
Ehealth Insider reported earlier this week that Cambridge University Hospitals and Papworth Hospital NHS foundation trusts’ joint electronic patient record contract with Epic was under review, while Monitor took a closer at Cambridge’s finances.
In a letter to the trust board, Monitor chief executive David Bennett says: “Monitor remains concerned that the trust is behind plan in delivering its planned recurrent cost improvement plans, which are critical to the trust’s financial recovery.”
A document from the trust’s July board meeting suggests it was aware the EPR programme could prove financially difficult: “The trust’s ability to achieve its cost improvement plans could influence Monitor’s view of its ability to invest in eHospital,” it says.
The eHospital programme has been flagged for review by Monitor and eHealth Insider understands that no contracts will be signed until that process is complete.
Former chief executive Dr Gareth Goodier had said the contract with Epic would be signed in late June, but left the trust that month to take up a role in Australia.
© 2012 EHealth Media.
QuestionsOzLurker 100 weeks ago
Considering that there is a rumour that the new CEO of a major Victorian Hospital is apparently suggesting EPIC might be the cure for local e-Health problems, this is an enormously important story that raises a number of questions.
Is the EPIC contract with Cambridge on hold for primary or secondary reasons? ie Did the procurement cost exceed local authority regardless, or is it considered not truly fit for purpose, or did the other issues at Addenbrooke's alluded to in the piece above, including financial difficulty, make the EPIC e-Hospital questionably non-viable?
Was the previous Chair of the Board pushed out? (seems probable)
Did the ex-CEO see or hear the Monitor Tsunami coming and jump ship just in time?
Why did the powers that were fail to heed previous warnings from Monitor?
What an earth are Cambridge going to do now to achieve better Health IT at an affordable cost?
Will EPIC refuse to play having watched all this going on from several thousand miles away? Will they try somewhere else in the UK or give it up as bad lot??
How will this story play in Australia, presuming it gets noticed?
May you live in interesting times...(as my compatriots of Chinese origin might say!)