NHS England has confirmed that King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is no longer in System Oversight Framework (SOF) 4*.
The decision by NHS England to move King’s from SOF 4 to SOF 3 recognises the significant improvements made by the Trust over recent years in regards to how it plans, manages and oversees its financial position.
King’s had been in Financial Special Measures since December 2017, with the Trust automatically enrolled into SOF 4 when the new regulatory framework was introduced in July 2021.
NHS England’s decision demonstrates the progress that has been made by staff across the organisation to address the deep-seated and complex challenges that led to the Trust being put in Financial Special Measures five years ago.
Professor Clive Kay, Chief Executive, welcomed the announcement. Professor Kay, who joined the Trust in April 2019, said:
“This is excellent news, and a big milestone in our improvement journey here at the Trust. A stable financial position is important for staff, and the communities we serve.
“The skills and dedication of our staff have never been in doubt – but by stabilising our financial position, we are helping to further rebuild confidence in our organisation, which is so, so important.
“This has been a truly collaborative effort, and I am extremely grateful to our system partners for their ongoing support. Of course, we mustn’t be complacent, and whilst we have stronger systems of financial control in place, we know there is more to do for us at King’s to become financially sustainable, whilst also improving services for our patients – and that will continue to be our focus.”
As well as delivering its financial plans for three consecutive years, the Trust has also successfully reduced its waiting lists for routine procedures, despite being one of the busiest NHS Trusts for COVID-19 positive patients (16,000 to date).
As part of the Trust’s elective recovery programme, no patients are currently waiting over two years for treatment (from a peak of 57 in November 2021), and 693 patients are waiting over a year (compared to 6,813 at the end of February 2021). 4.89% of patients at the Trust are waiting more than 6 weeks for a diagnostic test – compared to a peak of 40.16% in January 2021.
Richard Douglas, Chair of the South East London Integrated Care Board, said:
“Today’s announcement marks a positive milestone for the communities of south London. This is a tremendous demonstration of the hard work and commitment of King’s staff, working together with partners from across the South East London Integrated Care System, to improve the financial position and the quality of care to patients.
“While there is more to be done, we are confident that our strong partnership work across south east London will be a powerful driver to sustaining these improvements over the coming months and years for the benefit of our patients, carers and communities.”*All Trusts in the former financial special measures regime were automatically enrolled into the NHS System Oversight Framework 4 when it was introduced in July 2021.