THURROCK’s MP has welcomed the admission by the government’s NHS watchdog that it failed to intervene strongly enough over failings at Basildon Hospital.

Jackie Doyle-Price is a member of the House of Commons’ Public Accounts Committee, which has announced Monitor must be more effective at tackling poor standards in hospitals, following a catalogue of failures at Basildon since 2009.

A report issued by the committee found Basildon and Thurrock NHS Foundation Trust had been in breach of regulatory standards for care quality but that Monitor had not held it to account until local MPs declared they had lost confidence in the trust’s leadership.

Monitor representatives themselves admitted in evidence presented to the committee that they should have moved more quickly to replace senior staff at the trust and should have been prepared to intervene more strongly when the trust failed to improve itself.

Ms Doyle-Price said: “It is good that Monitor has faced up to its failings with regard to Basildon Hospital and it is good to hear that the new inspection regime will make it easier to identify and tackle problems.

“It is good that the Hospital is delivering better standards of care but it is not acceptable that residents of Basildon and Thurrock have had to be satisfied with poor standards for nearly five years.

“As Members of Parliament, we were criticised for challenging the Trust Management and Monitor, but the positive change which has been achieved shows that we were right to do so.”