PERFORMANCE: Stockport Foundation Trust has been found in significant breach of its terms of authorisation for “successive failure” to meet national accident and emergency waiting standards.

Announcing its decision, FT regulator Monitor said Stockport had missed the key A&E waiting target in four of the last six financial quarters.  

The target requires emergency departments to admit, transfer or discharge 95 per cent of attendees within four hours of arrival. In the first two quarters of 2012-13 Stockport recorded performance of 93.6 per cent and 93.8 per cent against the target.

It also breached the target in two quarters of the previous financial year.

Monitor said in a statement that Stockport’s “failure to make sufficient progress in addressing the issues has also led to concerns that there are weaknesses in the Board’s governance processes”.

Monitor managing director for provider regulation Stephen Hay said: “Our priority is that patients in the Stockport area receive quality services and we are very concerned that the Trust has not managed to deal with its failure to meet the A&E target.”

Monitor has asked the trust to ensure it has an “overarching action plan” covering all its urgent care improvement projects, and that its executive and operational teams have “the necessary capacity and capability” to deliver the plan.

Stockport chairman Gillian Easson said the trust took Monitor’s concerns “very seriously” and was “determined to reverse the situation as soon as possible”.

She added: “We recognise that there have been real issues with our performance against the A&E four hour target, although the vast majority of patients continue to receive treatment well within this standard.

“Our quality of patient care remains high and we have good feedback from patients who go through our emergency department. We also continue to meet a huge number of other performance standards around safety, infection control and different waiting times. The safety of patients and their experience of our services remain our top priorities.”