Monitor executive chair Bill Moyes is urging more teaching hospitals to become foundation trusts in 2009.

He told HSJ that the next stage review's message that the Department of Health would push for more trusts to gain foundation status should allay any uncertainty about teaching trusts' future.

"I am disappointed we have not seen more university hospitals become foundation trusts," he said. "I expect to see more in 2009."

Of the 105 foundations, just 13 are teaching trusts.

Central Manchester and Manchester Children's University Hospitals trust entered the assessment process in June. Nottingham University Hospitals trust is expecting to gain foundation status next year, as is Southampton University Hospitals trust.

Planning ahead

But several teaching trusts' plans appear not to be well developed. Imperial College Healthcare trust said that as it had formed only recently - last October - it did not yet want to comment on foundation plans. University Hospitals of Leicester trust, where chief executive Malcolm Lowe-Lauri took over in June, also did not want to comment yet.

Barts and the London trust said it was working with NHS London to "map our way toward" foundation status.

Several smaller teaching trusts face problems seeking foundation status because of historic or current debt.