THE BOSSES of the failing Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust (HEFT) could be replaced by Birmingham hospital bosses following revelations of £6 million-a-month losses.
Health body regulator, Monitor, has today (Wednesday) proposed to bring in interim management from neighbouring University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB) to turn around the failing Trust which has reported loses of £29.5 million since April this year.
The proposals, which will be approved by Monitor’s Provider Regulation Executive later this week, would see Les Lawrence step down as HEFT Chairman at the end of November and be replaced by UHB Chairman Jacqui Smith on an interim basis, and current HEFT interim chief executive Andrew Foster – who has only been in the job since January – replaced by Dame Julie Moore.
Both Ms Smith and Dame Moore will take on their roles within the Heart of England Trust alongside their duties at University Hospitals Birmingham.
The Heart of England Trust – which runs Solihull, Heartlands and Good Hope hospitals – has been subject to regulatory action in the past for failing to meet many targets, including waiting times at A&E and operation waiting times.
And it was such scrutiny that led to the axing of former boss, Mark Newbold, following claims by Monitor that there were serious failings in his leadership.
The Observer revealed last week that, while recognising the seriousness of the situation, Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Medical Director at HFET, Dr Andrew Catto believed the Trust already had ‘plans in place which it believes will make a difference quickly’.
Dr Catto blamed heavy investments into reducing A&E and opertation waiting times and the recruitment of 160 new nurses.
But following the conclusion of Monitor’s investigation into the Trust and the multi-million pound deficit revelation, HEFT has also been found in breach of its licence to provide NHS services.
Supporting action to address the problem, Dr David Bennett, Chief Executive of Monitor, said the financial position of HEFT ‘must be fixed’.
He added: “The trust must be in a position where it can provide the services that patients need for years to come.
“We hope that bringing in two experienced NHS leaders will help the trust transform itself into one that consistently gives the quality of care patients expect and lives within its budget.”