Regulators are to investigate Royal Berkshire Foundation Trust over serial breaches of waiting time targets, which they warn could indicate wider problems.
Monitor, the foundation trust regulator, has launched an investigation into the trust following repeated breaches of the four-hour waiting time target for accident and emergency.
The trust, which runs hospitals in Reading, Windsor and Henley, has breached the quarterly target three times in a 21 month period.
Monitor said in a statement that it was concerned that “persistent failure” to meet the A&E target “may signal wider governance problems” at the trust.
Paul Streat, Monitor’s regional director, said: “Patients rightly expect the highest possible standards of care, that’s why we have launched this investigation.”
No decision has been taken about whether regulatory action is required and an announcement about the outcome of the investigation will be made in due course, the statement from Monitor added.
Responding to the investigation, Royal Berkshire’s chief executive Ed Donald said: “We continue to provide high quality and safe care to our patients.
“This investigation is not related to the quality of patient care we deliver but rather the speed at which we have addressed some of the challenges facing the trust,” he added.
The intervention comes a few weeks after Monitor put Royal Berkshire’s neighbour, Heatherwood and Wexham Park Foundation Trust, on a three-month improvement notice for performance breaches including in A&E.
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