FINANCE: Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust has abandoned its bid to secure a £10m loan from Blackpool Borough Council which it hoped would ease its cash flow problems.

The acute trust had held initial talks with the council about the idea of a loan, it confirmed to HSJ this week.

Its appeal to the local authority was part of a plan to find “means of releasing equity… to improve our liquidity and help us to continue to invest in patient services”, a spokeswoman said.

“As part of this strategy preliminary discussions were held between officers of Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust and Blackpool Borough Council to assess the potential feasibility of an arrangement between the trust and the council.”

Following these talks, the trust decided not to make a formal request for a loan.

Simon Blackburn, leader of the council, said it had spoken to the trust about a possible loan but “a decision was taken not to proceed when the discussion was at an early stage”.

The trust had flagged up concerns about its ability to maintain its “continuity of services rating”. This rating is Monitor’s classification of the risk that foundation trusts will fail to continue as a going concern.

Blackpool’s current rating is two, the second highest risk ranking.

The spokeswoman said the trust was forecasting it would continue to achieve its rating of two.