One of England’s biggest hospital trusts and one of its highest performing foundation trusts are battling to take over a district general hospital, HSJ can reveal.

In September West Middlesex University Hospital in London became the latest district general to announce it was unviable and would look for merger partners

This week’s HSJ Local briefing reveals Imperial College Healthcare Trust and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Foundation Trust have both bid to take over the £149m-turnover trust.

A third, surprise, bidder also threw its hat in the ring.

The decision could be taken at West Middlesex’s December board meeting and comes as NHS London tries to get more of the capital’s trusts through the Monitor authorisation process before its abolition next April.

The briefing also reveals the situation faced by Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals Trust after the collapse of its merger bid and the question mark hanging over Whittington Health Trust’s future.