FINANCE: Bolton Foundation Trust is facing “serious challenges to its financial viability”, according to the latest board papers of FT regulator Monitor.

A spokeswoman for the regulator told HSJ that Monitor’s compliance board committee would hold a special board meeting on Monday (30 July) to consider the “appropriate regulatory approach” to “concerns” about Bolton’s financial position.

The Greater Manchester-based acute trust has already been in significant breach of its terms of authorisation since April this year, for failure to meet waiting times targets and related governance issues.

However, the minutes of Monitor’s 18 July compliance board meeting stated that the trust was also “facing serious challenges to its financial viability”.

The regulator’s spokeswoman told HSJ that Bolton’s assessment of its prospective financial position over the coming three years – which all FTs have to submit to Monitor as part of its annual plan review – had “raised concerns”.

She added: “Since receiving the trust’s APR documents we have been working to understand the implications of this and to gain an accurate picture of the trust’s financial position which will inform decisions about the appropriate regulatory approach.  This decision making is usually done at our scheduled board meeting.   

“The information to inform these decisions was not available in time for the board to consider at their scheduled meeting which is why we are holding a special board on Monday. 

“At this meeting the board may decide to take action immediately or they may decide to wait until further information is available.”

Bolton Foundation Trust declined to comment prior to a meeting of its board of governors next Thursday.