NHS London is in talks with the Department of Health amid fears it will imminently have too few board members to take constitutionally sound decisions, HSJ has learned.

Last month the strategic health authority’s chair and another non-executive board member resigned after health secretary Andrew Lansleycancelled its service reconfiguration programme.

HSJ has been told a further five non-executive board members are considering their positions and are expected to resign, leaving the SHA facing the likelihood of being rendered inquorate.

That would leave the SHA with just three non-executive directors overseeing a £16.1bn annual NHS commissioning budget and the £7.5bn turnover of the capital’s acute and mental health trusts.

NHS London has confirmed it is in talks with the Department of Health and the Appointments Commission regarding its “options for the future”.

NHS managers in the capital have been told one option being discussed is to disband the SHA as it could struggle to recruit fresh board members given DH plans to replace the SHA statutory role with a new independent NHS board by 2012.

The SHA chief executive Ruth Carnall is due to meet NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson to discuss the matter this week.

An NHS London spokesman said the SHA remained quorate at present as its outgoing non-executives would not leave their posts until 7 July.

He added: “We are looking at our options for the future with the Department of Health and Appointments Commission to make sure we continue to have the right people in place to meet our statutory duties.”