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King’s placed in special measures for finance

NHS Improvement have placed King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in special measures following serious concerns about the trust’s growing deficit.

NHS Improvement agreed with the King’s board earlier this year a budget deficit of £38 million for 2017/18. In late October, the trust formally worsened this prediction to £70 million, and last week re-forecast an end-year deficit of £92 million.

As an organisation, King’s own prediction for its deficit has worsened by £54m, and more than doubled, within months.

Ian Dalton, Chief Executive of NHS Improvement said:

“The financial situation at King’s has deteriorated very seriously over recent months and we have now placed the trust in special measures to maximise the amount of scrutiny and support that it receives.

We understand that the wider NHS faces financial and operational challenges, and other trusts and foundation trusts have large deficits. However, none has shown the sheer scale and pace of the deterioration at King’s.  It is not acceptable for individual organisations to run up such significant deficits when the majority of the sector is working extremely hard to hit their financial plans, and in many cases have made real progress.”

The trust will now receive extra help and oversight, with the appointment of a financial improvement director. The organisation will also be required to draw up and deliver a plan to improve its finances, which NHS Improvement will closely monitor.

On top of special measures, and subject to due process, they intend to appoint Ian Smith as a new and experienced interim chair for King’s to take control of the organisation’s position. A further announcement will be made as soon as possible.

NHS Improvement is responsible for overseeing foundation trusts and NHS trusts, as well as independent providers that provide NHS-funded care. We offer the support these providers need to give patients consistently safe, high quality, compassionate care within local health systems that are financially sustainable.

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