STRUCTURE: The head of provider development told NHS London’s board in March that only half of the acute trusts in the capital “had a reasonable prospect of achieving FT status by April 2014 as they were”.

Minutes of the meeting record Mark Davies saying: “The scale of the transformation was greater in London than elsewhere in the country. The Tripartite Formal Agreements [plans for achieving FT status] would show that around half of the acute trusts in London had a reasonable prospect of achieving FT status by April 2014 as they were, but the rest would require mergers, service reconfigurations (or both).

“A major concern was the time taken to achieve service reconfiguration given current consultation requirements.”

Mr Davies is now chief executive of Imperial College Healthcare Trust and his role at NHS London has been taken by former Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals chief execuitve John Goulston.

Some TFAs that have been agreed by the Department of Health were due to be returned at the end of last week.

NHS London papers show the strategic health authority still considers it “likely” that trusts will not “meet the DH deadline of March 2014, or make substantial progress by 2012-13, for the achievement of FT status due to a lack of progress in respect of organisational and service reconfiguration, financial challenges, organisational capacity/capability issues, agreement of stakeholders etc.”

The corporate risk assurance framework document said although “significant progress” had been made the workstream was still “red-rated”.

The mitigating actions taken to support trusts had downgraded the likelihhood of failure from “almost certain” to “likely”, it said.