South Tees NHS Health trust criticised for 'failings'

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A health trust has been told it must make changes following a report by the NHS regulator which highlighted 'failings'.

Monitor launched an investigation into South Tees NHS Trust last October, looking at issues including waiting time targets and infection and mortality rates.

It was then widened to look at its financial deficit for 2013-14.

The trust said it had "worked hard to address the key areas of concern".

Monitor found the trust is still not meeting its C.Difficile infection rate targets, reporting an increase in the number of cases since 2012/13.

It also found its financial position had "seriously deteriorated" since the launch of its investigation.

The trust, which provides services to patients in Middlesbrough and Northallerton in North Yorkshire, will have a deficit of up to £34.9m in 2014/15 and £52.3m in 2015/16.

However, it has made "significant progress in dealing with waiting times for routine operations and is now meeting all national targets".

'Risks'

As a result of Monitor's latest findings, the trust has agreed to implement a financial recovery plan, appoint a transformation director and commission an external review to identify what has gone wrong.

It must also develop an infection control action plan.

Frances Shattock, regional director at Monitor, said: "This trust has financial and infection control failings that have to be fixed and quickly.

"We've taken action because the trust board has not addressed these risks fully.

"We will continue to monitor the trust rigorously and will take further regulatory action if we consider it necessary."

The trust said it had already taken steps to address many of those areas before Monitor's announcement earlier.

Professor Tricia Hart, chief executive, said: "We welcome external scrutiny of our activities and so are happy to accept any extra support that Monitor can offer."

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