Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust is being investigated by Monitor because of persistent cash problems, in what seems to be yet another example of the deteriorating state of trust finances across the country.   

The health sector regulator said it will examine the FT’s financial plans after it swung into the red by £3.7 million in last financial year. 

This year, the trust is predicting that its financial position may deteriorate further, despite efforts to generate savings.

Paul Streat, Monitor’s Regional Director, said the priority will be to help the trust “improve its financial position so it can continue to provide quality care to its patients”.

In a statement, the trust said it welcomes Monitor’s investigation.

“Because we are, relatively speaking, a very efficient NHS provider we are further down the road in identifying additional opportunities for improving efficiency. We have therefore set ourselves a cost improvement programme target to deliver £5.1 million of savings in the year ahead rather than the £11 million that national targets would suggest,” it said.

“We fully understand the need for Monitor to investigate whether our planning assumptions about cost improvement and efficiency are achievable”.

NHS Foundation Trusts are expected to rack up debts of some £375 million for 2014/15.