STRUCTURE: The south London trust announced it is considering a merger in its board papers, when publishing its tripartite agreement.

The tripartite document must be completed by all trusts outlining when and how they will become foundation trusts. It must be signed by the chief executive of the trust, the strategic health authority and Ian Dalton, the Department of Health’s managing director of provider development.

A supporting document published by the trust said its newly formed transaction board had agreed “this will involve either a merger or acquisition with an existing NHS trust or a foundation trust”.

It said: “The process will to be invite expressions of interest from the whole NHS. However it is believed that the solution will need to show that there are service synergies and benefits which would suggest a local solution. This would not stop the transaction board looking at innovative solutions from other parts of the NHS.”

It added any solution must end in foundation trust status being achieved for both its St Helier and Epsom hospital sites.