A troubled 12 months for the Royal Bolton
9:09am Thursday 7th March 2013 in News
THE last 12 months have been a troubled time for the Royal Bolton Hospital.
Over the past week, the Trust has made national and international headlines due to Dr Foster’s investigation into coding “discrepancies”.
But The Bolton News has covered the ups and downs at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust for the past year.
In April, the Trust was criticised and put in “significant breach” by health watchdog Monitor for failing healthcare targets including A&E waiting times and 18 weeks referral to treatment times.
Then in August, Monitor issued a damning report about the trust criticising its poor governance, financial failings and failing targets for the superbug C Difficile. The trust was placed at the highest risk rating of one and in “red risk”.
Leader of Bolton Council Cliff Morris, who had been chairman for eight years, left and interim chairman David Wakefield was appointed after Monitor made the unusual decision to intervene in the trust.
It was then revealed £3.8 million was “unaccounted” for at the trust and an investigation was launched.
The trust also announced it needed to make savings of £50 million over three years and it was revealed it was losing between £1.5 million and £1.7 million each month.
It has twice had to borrow money from the Department of Health and is currently more than £14.5 million in debt. It has appointed a turnaround team and has experts from Deloitte working with staff.
In October, a board meeting revealed the trust had high numbers of falls in elderly patients, was failing superbug targets and had a shortage of midwives.
In November, the trust announced it would be making 500 job cuts, including compulsory redundancies in an attempt to save money.
There have been a number of changes to the board since September, the director of finance Gary Raphael left by “mutual agreement”, chief executive Lesley Doherty and director of assurance and engagement, Beverley Andrew both took early retirement at the end of the year and last week, the medical director and acting chief executive Dr Jackie Bene “stepped aside”.
There have been a number of interim directors on the board since September and there is currently an acting medical director, an acting deputy chief executive and no chief executive.
There have also been positive stories, a new ward opened after a £1.5 million cash injection and the hospital has improved its A&E performance, making it one of the best in the country.
The interim chairman has said he is confident he can turn the trust around and get the hospital back on track .
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