STRUCTURE: Oxfordshire Learning Disability Trust has been working with the South Central strategic health authority to enter into a merger and acquisition process.

The learning disability service provider, also known as the Ridgeway Partnership, has also put in place a mechanism for staff groups to submit “right to provide” proposals.

The trust decided in April not to pursue foundation trust status on its own.

Its strategic risk register gave a “red” rating to the objected of securing a sustainable future for the organisation, despite meeting key performance indicators.

Board papers reveal that staff had until June 10 to put forward business cases, and that final decisions on them would be made by September, when the invitation to tender will be published.

Tenders will be evaluated later this year and a preferred bidder announced in January 2012. The current estimated acquisition date is August 2012.

PricewaterhouseCoopers have been chosen as financial advisers, and teleconferences are now taking place on a weekly basis between the trust and SHA.

Legal advisers are now being appointed.

The trust said “stakeholders” have been sent letters requesting views on the criteria which should be used to choose a future partner organisation. An “accessible letter” has also gone out to service users and their carers and families.