STRUCTURE: Southend University FT has raised concerns with Monitor’s plans to include national performance targets in its compliance framework.

A response to a consultation on the regulator’s plans was submitted to the trust’s March board meeting. Monitor has proposed that national referral to treatment times and A&E quality indicators be included in its compliance framework.

But the trust said demands from financially squeezed commissioners could lead to breaches for which the trust could not be responsible.

In its response to Monitor it said: “The compliance framework should be aligned to the national NHS Contract - which may end up being different to the operating framework.

“There needs to be assurance that commissioners will work within the national framework and not require trusts to work outside of this. Locally, commissioners may, as at present, require provider organisations to support their financial baseline by seeking extended treatment times.

“In attempting to work within their contractual obligations, FTs may therefore breach national targets. This raises an issue as to Monitor’s treatment of those FTs who have breached the targets only in order to comply with the contract.”