COMMERCIAL: An aspirant community foundation trust could be stripped of a quarter of its business to support a new hospital trust emerging from demerger of Barnet and Chase Farm hospitals.

Dame Ruth Carnall, chief executive of NHS London, said Barnet’s community services could be taken from Central London Community Health Trust and joined with services at Barnet Hospital. She spoke just six months after the last change in the borough’s community services provider.

The strategic health authority is investigating merging Chase Farm and North Middlesex University hospitals to create Enfield Hospitals Foundation Trust.

Speaking at the first NHS London board meeting in four months, Dame Ruth said the change to community services was “not unproblematic because community services in Barnet are now provided by CLCH”.

England’s community services were divided between acutes, mental health and community trusts earlier this year. CLCH beat six other shortlisted bidders - some community services, some mental health trusts - to take over Barnet community services in April.

CLCH also provide the community services for Westminster, Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea. It has a turnover of roughly £190m, of which Barnet’s business makes up £50m.

In September health secretary Andrew Lansley gave permission for the north east London clinical strategy that will see Chase Farm’s maternity and emergency services move to North Middlesex.

HSJ understands other hospital trusts in the north-central London cluster were interested in taking over Barnet Hospital.

CLCH chief executive James Reilly said in a statement: “We are firmly and fully committed to continuing delivering community services in Barnet. In April this year, following a rigorous process, it was decided that CLCH Trust stood out from the rest as the best organisation to manage and deliver community services in Barnet. Nothing has changed to alter that assessment. 

“We are determined to make clear to all stakeholders that CLCH Trust remains the best and most sustainable long-term solution for community services in Barnet.”

CLCH intends to submit its foundation trust application to Monitor in October 2012.

The trust also submitted bids to run the community services of Tower Hamlets, Newham and Camden but was unsuccessful in those areas.