Royal Bournemouth Hospital probed over £10m deficit

Royal Bournemouth Hospital
Image caption The plans would lead to the development of services at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital and Poole Hospital

A Dorset hospital trust is to be investigated by the health regulator over its £10m financial deficit.

Monitor said it would examine the causes of the "deteriorating" financial position at The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The trust blamed an increase in admissions and costs of agency nurses.

The regulator also said accident and emergency waiting times needed improvement.

Paul Streat, Monitor's regional director, said: "Patients rely on the services provided by Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals and we want to make sure the trust gets to grips with its finances as quickly as possible.

"We will examine what has caused the deterioration and find out what needs to be done to improve things."

The trust serves a population of about 550,000 people in east Dorset.

A trust spokesman said a "steep increase" in demand for services had caused greater pressure on its finances.

"At the same time, there has been an increase in the number of patients whose discharge from Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals is delayed due to absence of support in the community. Our reliance on agency nurses has also risen in tandem with a rise in agency costs."

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