FINANCE: Monitor has intervened at the Rotherham Foundation Trust, and told it to improve financial management and ensure its services are sustainable.

The regulator said the trust, which runs a very small district general hospital, was in significant breach of its terms of authorisation because it had “failed to address financial problems promptly and effectively”.

Monitor said Rotherham had failed to deliver on its savings plans and failed to successfully implement a new electronic patient records system, which led to problems booking patient appointments and loss of income.

Its former chief executive Brian James left early this year, and earlier this month its board appointed management firm Bolt Partners to provide an interim chief executive, Michael Morgan. The company will also provide additional support in turning around the organisation.

Monitor managing director for provider regulation Stephen Hay said: “The trust has had financial problems for a while and we are concerned that their failure to address them may be due to the lack of adequate strength and capacity within the management team.

“We welcome the appointment of an interim chief executive last week and hope the trust can quickly strengthen the way it governs its finances so that services to patients remain robust and sustainable.”

It has asked the trust to take urgent action to review and strengthen its corporate and financial governance arrangements, and report on steps it is taking to resolve on-going issues with its electronic patient record system.

In a statement published earlier this month, before Monitor’s announcement, the trust said: “As a result of resourcing issues, it is probable that the trust will shortly be found in breach of its authorisation by Monitor…

“The board is optimistic, as a result of the significant actions outlined in this communication, that no further intervention will be required and that the trust can rapidly resolve the issues identified and continue to provide the high quality of patient care that patients have the right to expect.”