FINANCE: Monitor has closed its investigation into Poole Hospital Foundation Trust after being satisfied the trust’s leadership is taking “appropriate action” to improve its financial position.

Monitor launched an investigation into the trust in June 2013 after it forecast a deficit for 2014-15.

A spokeswoman for the trust confirmed it was still forecasting a deficit for this and the next financial year but that “subject to the agreement of planned support and savings, the trust will maintain a positive cash balance for the next two years”.

She said the trust had developed a “sustainable transformation programme” and had sought assurance on its financial projections from accountancy firm PwC.

“The executive team, led by newly appointed chief executive Debbie Fleming, is driving detailed and robust action plans addressing Monitor’s concerns” she added.

The trust had been planning to merge with Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Foundation Trust to ensure its future sustainability. However, this merger was blocked by the Competition Commission in October which was not convinced it would lead to benefits for patients that would outweigh the loss of choice.

Following that decision, Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group launched a county-wide review of all health services. This aims to develop a model to ensure services remain sustainable in the long term.

Paul Streat, regional director at Monitor, said: “We launched our investigation to understand the financial challenges facing this trust and what was being done meet them.

“The investigation has been closed because we have found that the trust’s leadership is now taking appropriate action to improve the state of its finances.”