1. ITV Report

Hospital investigated over infection control

The Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is being investigated by health regulator Monitor for failing to meet superbug and A&E waiting time targets.

It is one of the first hospitals investigated under under Monitor’s new provider licence regulatory regime which came into force on April 1st 2013.

The Merseyside trust is also reported to have missed referral-for-treatment targets.

The Trust said The Board is disappointed and extremely concerned at its performance.

Monitor took the decision about the Aintree trust after breaches of its control of C. difficile, and MRSA. There is also alarm over the A&E four hour waiting time.

Referral-for-treatment targets also raised concerns about governance at the trust.

Catherine Beardshaw, Chief Executive of Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“In line with many other Trusts in England, Aintree has experienced difficulties in our ability to safely discharge patients because of pressure in the local health system. This has had a knock-on effect on our A&E performance during recent months.

"However, overall, Aintree has met the 95% standard for 2012/13. A second consequence of the pressure in our hospital has been that we have had to cancel some routine surgical operations in Quarter 4, resulting in a failure to deliver our Referral to Treatment Target (RTT). This issue has now been resolved.

“The Board is also disappointed and extremely concerned about our overall infection control performance in 2012/13. We have revised our action plans and have now seen a reduction in the number of C.Difficile cases reported in the last two months. Additionally, we have invited an independent expert to work with us to understand why our MRSA figures have increased in 2012/13.

“We will be meeting with Monitor in the coming weeks to discuss our plans. After this meeting, we will find out if Monitor believes any further action is required and, if so, what form this will take.”

"We have revised our action plans and have now seen a reduction in the number of C. difficile cases reported in the last two months," she said.

Yvonne Mowlds, Regional Director at Monitor, said: “These Trusts are experiencing problems and we are investigating at an early stage to find out why these problems have occurred. Monitor has not yet reached a view as to whether there has been any breach of the licence conditions.

“Patients expect to see their services run well and by investigating at this early stage we can make sure that the Trusts are able to address any issues quickly and effectively.”

The health watchdog wil now meet with the boards of the four Trusts and will make an announcement about the result of the investigations once they have reviewed all available evidence.