STRUCTURE: Dartford and Gravesham Trust is one of 39 organisations that have expressed an interest in taking over part of troubled South London Healthcare Trust.

The London trust was the first in the country to be placed in the failure regime, after ending last year with a deficit of £69m on a £459m turnover.

It runs three main hospital sites, Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Greenwich, Princess Royal University Hospital in Bromley and the Queen Mary Hospital in Bexley.

Dartford and Gravesham Trust is South London’s district general hospital neighbour to the east and sits within 12 miles of the Greenwich and Bexley sites.

While it waits for its merger partner Medway Foundation Trust to resolve financial problems and the confirmation of the same Department of Health PFI support South London is getting, Dartford and Gravesham is understood to be interested in expanding its elective work and using part of the Bexley site.

The Kent trust has seen large spikes in A&E and obstetrics attendances since the closure of those facilities on South London’s Queen Mary’s Hospital site in Sidcup.