FINANCE: Lewisham Healthcare Trust is planning to submit a foundation trust bid in October despite liquidity problems.

The south London trust’s Tripartite Formal Agreement with NHS London and the Department of Health anticipates an application before the end of the year and has timetabled June as the date it will resolve its liquidity problem.

The acute is working with NHS London to address the trust’s financial risk rating of one - the highest risk rating - with Monitor. Organisations will normally have a rating of three or four on the five-point scale when they are authorised by the regulator.

The £220m-turnover trust has cash liquidity of 1.6 days and the TFA said: “[We] have met with the SHA to discuss and agree a solution to this issue and understand that there is an intention to resolve. The trust has been asked to model requirements and advise NHS London.”

The TFA also noted that the trust’s existing consultation on achieving foundation trust status could be subject to legal challenge because of the changes to the FT model contained in the health and social care bill.

The document said: “The trust has sought guidance from NHS London on the opotential impact of the health bill, particularly in respect of FT governance arrangements and the possbility that the current process could be regarded as invalid if challenged. Such a challenge could impact on the trust’s timeline to application.”