Nearly 40 per cent of a £392m fund set up to pay off the historic debts of London’s financially challenged organisations has been used to bail out commissioners.

The capital’s primary care trusts were asked to put £392m into the challenged trust board fund over the past two years, to pay off the historic deficits NHS London expected 10 troubled trusts to accrue by March 2011.

But those organisations have so far secured just £47m from the board.

Meanwhile, five PCTs not on the original list of recipients have been handed £153m of the fund, the strategic health authority confirmed this week. The board has awarded £50m to NHS Enfield, £45m to NHS Barnet, £28m to NHS Haringey, £21m to NHS Sutton and Merton, and £9m to NHS Waltham Forest.

Of the originally intended recipients, St George’s Healthcare Trust has received £12m, Lewisham Hospital Trust £4m, and NHS Hillingdon - the only PCT on the original list - £19m.

The board has also awarded “interim funding for specific initiatives” of £8m to South London Healthcare Trust, and £4m to Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals.

An NHS London spokesman confirmed Newham University Hospital, Whipps Cross University Hospital, North West London Hospitals, West Middlesex University Hospital, Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals, St George’s Healthcare, South London Healthcare, and Barking, Havering and Redbridge Hospitals trusts would all still have deficits at the end of 2011.

The proposal in December 2008 to establish the challenged trust board said it was a “one-off opportunity” to tackle the debts as NHS finances tightened.

It added: “The key area of financial support required is for the acute sector. If acute trusts are left with their levels of deficits, it means that London will end up with failing trusts with significant debt, which will result in performance failure, not only financially, but in patient care.”