STRUCTURE: An NHS community trust set up in the wake of a High Court battle has been accepted onto the foundation trust pipeline.

Regulators sent Gloucestershire Care Services Trust a letter confirming that it had been formally accepted on 11 July.

The trust was established in April 2013 following a legal challenge to the transfer of community services from Gloucestershire Primary Care Trust to a social enterprise.

The organisation’s preparations to become a foundation trust have been on-going since its formation.

A spokesman for the trust, which last year reported an income of £108.9m, said that the provider aims to complete the authorisation process by the end of the 2015-16 financial year.

In an paper presented to the trust’s board last month, chief executive Paul Jennings said: “A huge amount of work has gone into preparing this organisation to join the ‘pipeline’ and we now have a further 18 months of work, under the guidance and scrutiny of both the [NHS Trust Development Authority] and Monitor, to prepare for the transition to becoming a foundation trust.”

In a joint statement to HSJ Mr Jennings and trust chair Ingrid Barker said: “Since becoming a standalone NHS provider trust last April, we have been determined to pursue foundation trust status.

“We are therefore very happy to announce that we have now been formally approved to enter the foundation trust pipeline. This will certainly be a challenge given the required speed of change, but one to which we are fully committed.”

Gloucestershire Care Services provides community health and adult social care services to a population of around 600,000 people in the county.