FINANCE: The chief executive of North Bristol Trust was “puzzled” to find the trust included on a list of organisations whose private finance initiative deals may prevent them becoming foundation trusts, board minutes reveal.

Ruth Brunt said she was “puzzled at being singled out”, in response to a question from a member of the public about the list of 22 trusts reported in the national press to have contacted the Department of Health to inform health secretary Andrew Lansley they would not make FT status due to their PFIs.

She told the Local Involvement Network representative NBT had been under a review commissioned by the Department of Health as one of 22 trusts who were not yet FTs and had PFI projects, but the trust had not approached the DH as had been suggested and the NBT position had not changed.

The minutes state: “PFI repayments had been built into the financial plan and the trust was confident it was affordable as the scheme was one of the most cost effective in the country”.

The trust plans to achieve FT status by December 2012.