The Foundation Trust Network has announced it will become formally independent of the NHS Confederation on 1 June and will be led by director Sue Slipman until April next year.

Ms Slipman said that she will concentrate on a “non-executive portfolio career” after April 2012, having established the FT Network as a separate body.

She said today: “I am very excited to be taking the FT Network into its new independent status as its first chief executive. I am really looking forward to seeing it through its first year whilst we build the longer term future in close partnership with all our members.

“It will be a challenging time as we work to ensure that the FT elements of the health reforms are seen through and that public providers are able to manage the financial system risks during this period of transition.

“My decision to make my plans clear at this point was to give the FT Network board the opportunity to plan the future infrastructure for the FT Network based on membership decisions and to ensure a stable handover to a new chief executive.”

Ms Slipman was temporarily suspended as director in October and November last year when the organisation’s plans to split off from the NHS Confederation became public. Current chairman Peter Griffiths will remain in post.

The FT Network’s first priority will be to consult with members on how organisations should develop over coming years.

The consultation will be launched on 21 June and will run through to the autumn. Members will be asked about their priorities, how policy is made, governance issues and the relationship with other bodies. The FT Network board hopes the exercise will give it a clear indication of what the organisation’s future role should be.

The FT Network had originally planned to separate from the NHS Confederation in April. A spokeswoman said the delay was “nothing political”. She told HSJ the hold was due do “all the things that go with becoming an independent organisation – achieving charitable status and setting up as a company.”