North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare Trust has become the latest NHS provider to admit it will not be able to win foundation trust status independently.

A paper drawn up for a board meeting of the NHS Trust Development Authority next week reveals the trust as one of six “not planning to move to foundation trust status in their current form”.

The other five - Bedford Hospital Trust, Cambridgeshire Community Services Trust, George Eliot Hospital Trust, Wye Valley Trust and Weston Area Health Trust - have already been made public.

Trust chair Ken Jarrold told HSJ the organisation, which provides mental health and learning disabilities services, was now looking to be acquired by an existing mental health foundation trust.

The trust said it had issued a statement saying it was reviewing its foundation trust application in December, however on March 25 it told HSJ it had submitted an application.

Mr Jarrold said in light of guidance issued by the TDA on 4 April the trust had changed its mind.

In September 2011 all non-foundation trusts were obliged to submit a “tripartite formal agreement” to the Department of Health setting out when they expected to make their application to become an FT.

North Staffordshire’s tripartite formal agreement anticipated making its application in June 2012.

The document said “key issues affecting [the] trust achieving FT” were: “service reconfigurations”, “site reconfigurations and closures”, “quality and clinical governance issues” and “board capacity and capability, and non-executive support”.

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