Independent report of financial governance published

13.07.17

An independent review into financial governance arrangements at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (GHNHSFT) has been published today (13.7.17) and shows that the Trust is making good progress in returning the organisation to financial balance and ensuring that it is soundly governed.

The report, commissioned by the Trust Board following the unexpected deterioration in the financial position, acknowledges that the trust is a very different organisation today when compared to a year ago. This follows the appointment of eight new members to the Board including a new Chair, Chief Executive and Finance Director. The report also signals a significant shift in the culture of the organisation led by the new leadership team.

Today’s announcement follows an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) last week which described the positive impact that the new Board has had on the culture of the organisation. Overall 73% of ratings are now either ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ after improvements were noted across nine areas, following the last inspection in 2015.

Peter Lachecki, Chair of GHNHSFT, said: “While the Board deeply regrets the previous failings in governance, I am pleased that we are publishing this independent report today because it is an important step in ensuring that something like this can never happen again.

“The report describes very openly and honestly how we found ourselves in the position that we did but more importantly it sets out what we are doing going forward to recover the position and acknowledges the good progress achieved to date.”

The Trust ended the last financial year (2016/17) with an £18m operational deficit which compared favourably to the £27m deficit forecast last autumn.

“We’ve been able to do this because of sound planning and the engagement of our staff in addressing our overspending” added Mr Lachecki.

“The recent CQC ratings show that we can do this while continuing to improve the quality of services delivered to our patients and their families. I firmly believe that excellent quality of care and good financial management go hand in hand. We are

determined to return this organisation back into a breakeven position in two years (April 2019).”

Of the 19 recommendations made in the report 95% have been actioned and a plan is in place to ensure the remaining actions are fully implemented.

Deborah Lee, Chief Executive added: “We are a very different organisation today compared to a year ago, not only in terms of culture and leadership but also in respect of our governance systems and processes and how we report financial information to the Board and its committees. I believe that we have created a solid platform on which to build our future success.”

For more information please contact the Communications Team on 0300 422 3563 or email comms@glos.nhs.uk

Notes to editors

The report shows that what happened was:

* The Board at the time did not have the right reporting in place to ensure full sight of the organisation’s finances

* There was a failure to keep the Board fully informed of the full financial picture

* There was a lack of challenge within the senior team which meant that the right questions were not being asked

To view the report and action plan click on the links below:

* Independent review of financial governance

* Action plan