A campaign has been launched for a community hospital to be run as a social enterprise - to stop it becoming part of a foundation trust.

Teddington Memorial Hospital might be at risk because Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare Trust could end up merging with a larger trust if it gets foundation trust status as planned in 2014, the local League of Friends claimed.

The hospital could be “further removed from its rightful community, be used inappropriately or even disposed of,” the group claimed. Working with some local GPs, it is developing a clinical strategy and business case to run the hospital as a social enterprise. The hospital has a walk-in centre, diagnostics, out-patients clinic and some in-patient rehabilitation beds.

But trust chief executive Richard Tyler said the hospital was not at risk and the NHS had invested £13m in it over the last eight years.

“The ownership model being proposed would remove Teddington Memorial Hospital from the NHS, where it has been since 1948. Under this model, there would be no obvious safeguards for the hospital’s future whereas, under NHS ownership, there are considerable rules and regulations which mean that no major changes can be made without proper scrutiny or consultation,” he said.

“I am saddened and disappointed at the stance taken by the League of Friends and some GPs but remain committed to working with them to find a solution.”