PERFORMANCE: Monitor has launched an investigation into Barnsley Hospital Foundation Trust, following concerns about the trust’s finances and its accident and emergency waiting times.

The trust has breached the national A&E quarterly target five times within 18 months. Its financial position is also deteriorating and it reported a reported a £2.3m deficit in February.

In a statement issued today at 1pm, Monitor said it will “look into whether these problems indicate wider issues with how the trust is run” and “examine whether the trust is operating in breach of its licence to provide health care services and will take action if it is needed, to put things right”.

Frances Shattock, the regulator’s regional director for the north, said: “We are opening this investigation because we want to understand why the trust is facing problems in its A&E and with its finances so that we can help it to improve and provide a good quality service for local people.

“We expect the trust to take rapid action to address its problems whilst an investigation is ongoing. If necessary, we will not hesitate to take regulatory action.”