Monitor requires improvement at Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation TrustRSS

Published on: 23rd March 2012

Monitor has concerns regarding the governance of Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, it has announced today. The regulator has taken action to ensure the Trust’s Board is providing effective leadership on behalf of patients.

Monitor is concerned that the Trust’s Board has not addressed breaches of the referral to treatment waiting time (RTT) target quickly or effectively enough.

Having considered the evidence, the regulator has found the Trust to be in significant breach of two of the terms of its authorisation:

  • governance (NHS foundation trust boards must ensure effective leadership and governance) and;
  • healthcare and other standards (NHS foundation trusts are required to comply with certain national healthcare targets and standards).

The Trust had been aware of the problems with meeting the RTT target from November 2010, but had failed to tackle the underlying causes. Monitor needs to be assured that the Board is identifying risks and acting on them, and that is why it has taken the decision to apply extra regulatory pressure.

As a result of this decision, Monitor is requiring the Trust to commission an independent review of Board governance, to be agreed with Monitor. Monitor will hold the Trust to account for delivery against any recommendations arising from this review.

The Trust is also required to obtain external assurance on the robustness of the action plan and address the underlying issues that have resulted in it breaching the referral to treatment waiting times target.

Monitor’s Chief Operating Officer, Stephen Hay, said:

"Long waits are unacceptable for patients and that’s why we’re taking action to make sure the issues aren’t repeated. Our decision to find the Trust in significant breach will apply extra regulatory pressure to make sure our concerns are addressed. If we don’t think the Board is delivering enough improvement, we can use our regulatory powers to make changes."



  1. For media enquiries please contact Michael Moruzzi:  020 7340 2438 or
  2. When a trust is authorised as an NHS foundation trust by Monitor it is required to comply with the terms of its Authorisation. These are published on Monitor’s website.
  3. The intensity of our monitoring and the specific requirements we place on boards of foundation trusts reflect the risk of an actual or potential breach of an NHS foundation trust’s terms of authorisation. More information about how Monitor regulates foundation trusts is available here:
  4. Monitor was established in January 2004. It is independent of government and accountable to Parliament. Monitor’s functions and powers are set out in the National Health Service Act 2006.
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