STRUCTURE: Cheshire, Warrington and Wirral primary care trusts’ chief executive warned in January that she was “not convinced” the PCT cluster should support the trust’s bid for foundation status.

On 5 March Ian Dalton, chief executive of strategic health authority cluster NHS North of England, wrote to Kathy Doran about a meeting he had with the PCT cluster chief executive on 11 January.

“During the course of the meeting we covered a number of key areas of risk where the cluster is currently failing to deliver,” he wrote. “I have reflected below the timescales you have committed to in terms of recovery, and to which both the SHA and your own board will be holding you to account.”

He went on to write that East Cheshire’s bid for foundation trust status remained “a significant risk with ongoing concerns re their viability as a stand-alone organisation”.

“A recent review by [management consultants PriceWaterhouse Coopers] has suggested that it is possible, but you are not convinced that the cluster should support the trust.

“You are awaiting Stage 2 of the PwC report, and receipt of the trust’s business plan in February, before you make your decision.”