Monitor has found two more acute trusts in significant breach of their terms of authorisation.
The decision to place Peterborough and Stamford Foundation Trust and University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust in the category comes a week after the regulator announced the number of trusts at highest risk of financial failure had doubled from three to six.
Peterborough has a turnover of £229m and in February its then chief executive Nik Patten said there had been a “serious breakdown in relationships” between the trust and its commissioners at NHS Peterborough.
Monitor this afternoon said: “The trust is in a serious financial position and work on a turnaround plan has not progressed at the necessary pace to address the challenges it is facing.
“The trust has a long term challenge to deliver the government’s NHS efficiency requirements and to support the costs of its PFI [private finance initiative] contract following the relocation of services to a new hospital,” it said in a statement.
Speaking on the issue after Monitor’s October board meeting, restructuring director Richard Guest said: “This trust has significant financial problems following its move to a new hospital. We believe this is due to a lack of planning to address the higher costs resulting from the move and a failure to improve productivity.”
University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay was placed in significant breach because of the problems at the maternity unit at the trust’s Furness Hospital site, highlighted initially by the Care Quality Commission last month.
Monitor’s chief operating officer Stephen Hay said: “We’ve used our powers to commission an expert review of maternity services at the trust so that we can get a complete picture of that department and make sure there are no other problems. We are also requiring the trust to commission an independent review into the way the trust is managed to understand whether its leaders are acting effectively to identify issues affecting patient care and resolve them.”
The announcement comes the day before Morecambe Bay’s proposal to take over the running of North cumbria University Hospitals is unveiled.
The trust is competing with Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust and a joint bid from Cumrbia Partnership Foundation Trust and Newcastle University Hospitals Foundation Trust.
The decision takes the number of trusts currently in significant breach to 12: Mid Staffordshire, Heatherwood and Wexham Park, Gloucestershire Hospitals, Dorset County Hospital, Basildon and Thurrock, Milton Keynes Hospital, Poole Hospital, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, Tameside Hospital and Medway.