Kettering General Hospital 'failing patients'

A Northamptonshire hospital "persistently" failed to treat emergency patients within four hours, a health watchdog has said.

Monitor said it was also taking action against Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust because of its "board governance and financial performance".

The regulator said the hospital was in "significant breach" of the terms of its authorisation.

The hospital said it was making progress in meeting the targets.

It achieved Foundation Trust status - a supposed mark of excellence in the health service - in 2008.

The regulator has ordered the trust to improve its accident and emergency performance, take "rapid action" to strengthen its financial plan for 2012/13 and to have a review of its board governance.

'Get to grips'

Monitor's chief operating officer, Stephen Hay, said: "We have been tracking the trust's performance for some time and are requiring action to be taken because it is not acceptable that the trust is persistently failing its A&E patients.

"We now expect the trust to focus on immediately and sustainably resolving this issue."

The hospital serves 300,000 people in the north of the county.

Steve Hone, chairman of Kettering General Hospital Foundation Trust, accepted the hospital had "difficulty" meeting the two targets highlighted by Monitor but said progress was being made.

He said efforts were being made to find "cost and efficiency improvements" and establishing new ways generating income for the trust.

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