Disciplinary proceedings in place after financial misreporting at Doncaster health trust

Mike Pinkerton.
Mike Pinkerton.

Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS FT welcomes support from its regulator, Monitor, to improve the way it manages its finances and its long term plans for financial sustainability

The move follows revelations of financial misreporting at the Trust which has led to disciplinary proceedings taking place.

The Trust is reporting a year-to-date deficit of £29.5m and is forecasting to end the financial year in 31 March 2016 in a deficit of £38.4m. In October 2015 the Trust reported a change in position, from forecasting a small end of year surplus to a substantial deficit, after uncovering significant misreporting of the financial situation to the Board of Directors.

Mike Pinkerton, Chief Executive for the Trust said: “We have been working closely with our regulator, Monitor, since discovering the misreporting of the financial position in October and have greatly appreciated the support and advice they have given to us.

“Once the financial misreporting was identified it became clear that as a Trust we were spending more than we were earning on a monthly basis. To address this we have put plans in place to regain control of our finances and strategic direction. This included establishing a team dedicated to the financial turnaround of the organisation that will focus on key tasks to deliver savings, without compromising our commitment to quality.

“We also appointed an independent, external investigation into the misreporting. The report of that external investigation has now been concluded and as a direct result of the actions we have taken to regain control many of the recommendations made are either already completed, or are being put into place.

“The report also identifies that a small number of individuals from the senior finance team at the Trust played some part in the misreporting of the position. In line with the recommendations made in the report we are conducting disciplinary proceedings for those individuals and in accordance with our disciplinary policy we will take the necessary and appropriate actions following disciplinary meetings.”

A redacted version of the report is available to read on the Trust’s website here

Mr Pinkerton continued: “I am pleased that Monitor recognises the importance of maintaining quality whilst we work to reduce our monthly expenditure to improve our financial position. Over the last few years we have made excellent improvements in the quality of care we provide to our patients across the Trust, albeit spending more money than we should have. We have seen a significant reduction in falls in hospital, hospital acquired infections, pressure ulcers and the mortality rate. We are achieving referral to treatment waiting times for our patients and although our emergency pathways are under constant pressure, we continue to be one of the best performing trusts in the country. I would like to reassure patients that providing safe and effective care will remain our highest priority.”