Good news for patients as Monitor close investigation into finances at West Suffolk Hospital

West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds. Photograph Simon Parker

West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds. Photograph Simon Parker - Credit: Archant

An investigation into the “concerning” financial position of West Suffolk Hospital has now been closed.

Health regulator Monitor gave the Bury St Edmunds hospital a clean bill of health yesterday, saying it was now in a more secure position.

West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, who run the hospital, have welcomed the announcement, stressing no concerns about standard of care were ever raised.

Health regulator Monitor launched its investigation last July to ensure the trust would remain sustainable during a period of financial pressure

Monitor said the hospital demonstrated it had taken positive steps to address the challenges it faces by securing funding to purchase an electronic patient record system, working more efficiently and creating a robust financial recovery plan.

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Prof Dr Stephen Dunn, chief executive of the hospital, said: “We are pleased that we have demonstrated improvements to Monitor and given them the necessary assurances to allow them to close their investigation.

“Increasing levels of emergency activity are still putting our finances under pressure. However, we are continuing to work with our partners across the NHS to find ways to control this growth and ensure patients who are fit for discharge can return home more quickly.

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“This has helped us buck the national trend and become one of the few acute trusts in the country to reduce its projected deficit as the year has progressed.

“It is important to stress that Monitor had no concerns over the quality of care we provide, and that our performance in all other areas has remained strong, which is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff.”

Although the investigation is closed, Monitor will continue to work with West Suffolk to build on the progress made thus far.

Katherine Cawley, Monitor’s regional director, said: “We are pleased West Suffolk has improved its financial position as it will enable local people to continue to receive the quality healthcare services they expect.

“However, it is important that West Suffolk’s leadership continues to work hard at securing its long-term financial sustainability.”

West Suffolk has also been working with its commissioners and other local partners. A spokesman for the NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are pleased that West Suffolk Hospital has made progress on improving its financial position.

“The hospital plays an important role in the local community and delivers good quality health care services. The West Suffolk CCG will continue to work with and support the hospital to ensure it has a sustainable future.”

The news was also welcomed by watchdog Suffolk Healthwatch. The chair Dr tony Rollo said: “This is clearly good news for patients and demonstrates a commitment from the hospital to deliver quality services for the future.”

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