Walsall Manor Hospital trust bid hopes hit by missed A&E targets

Walsall Manor Hospital’s bid to become a foundation trust and have more control over its own affairs has been delayed after it failed to hit A&E targets, it emerged today.

The application to become a foundation trust will now not be submitted until early in the 2013/14 financial year. It emerged last week the Manor has fallen short of its four-hour A&E waiting time target.

Concerns over Walsall Healthcare Trust’s current financial position have also been highlighted as a reason for the deferral.

Hospital bosses today said the action had been agreed.

The decision was reached following a meeting between the trust’s board and the Strategic Health Authority last month.

A report to hospital bosses, written by Dawn Clift, director of governance, said: “The meeting concluded that the trust has made good progress in improving the quality of care delivered to patients.

“Challenges were recognised in relation to the cur-rent financial position and failure to achieve the A&E 24-hour target at the end of quarter two.

In this regard, it was agreed that the application to the Department of Health and subsequently Monitor be deferred until early 2013/14 when the outturn position of 2013/14 would be apparent.”

The trust has also agreed a revised forecast surplus for this financial year of £3.7m – £1m lower than first anticipated.

Chief executive of Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust Richard Kirby today said: “This is a result of a deliberate decision rather than a slide into trouble.”

He said the new proposed date for submitting the bid would be “three or four” months later than planned.