FINANCE: The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital Foundation Trust’s chief executive has warned his board against potential complacency after describing the trust’s finances as “almost embarrassingly good”.

Donal O’Donoghue, who took over in March, made the comments in his report to the board just two weeks into the job.

He said: “The performance management of both quality and activity seems to have been quite robust in comparison to what occurs elsewhere. The finances are almost embarrassingly good and our plans for the next three years seem to be sensible and safe.”

But, he added: “The positive impression… does carry the inherent risk of complacency and I am concerned that it may be difficult to generate the sense of urgency and appetite for change that will be needed if we are to come through the next few years in good order.”

He said key personnel changes in senior management were a potential source of weakness, as was a lack of “positive connection” between medical staff and managers.

Mr O’Donoghue also criticised the trust’s health informatics service, and said his first act as chief executive was to commission a review of the service. “Initial feedback confirmed the need for major improvement in this area”, he said.

The trust received a Monitor finance rating of five, the best possible score, and a governance rating of amber-green.

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