STRUCTURE: The trust is one of two in the North West to be visited by the National Audit Office for its research on the challenges to achieving foundation trust status, according to a report to the region’s strategic health authority.

The report to the NHS North West board states that the NAO is visiting trusts to prepare a report for the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee on the acute trusts yet to achieve foundation status which are facing the greatest challenges.

It continues: “An NAO report is to be published on the 12th October 2011 and the findings will inform a hearing on the 19th October.

The NAO have chosen St Helens and Knowsley and Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trusts to review in the North West and will visit the Trusts on the 31 August and 2 September respectively.

“As part of the review the NAO will explore NHS North West processes and the support provided to Trusts by the SHA.”

Pennine Acute was one of three North West trusts whose FT bids were still rated “amber-red” in August, meaning “successful delivery of the programme is in doubt with major risks or issues apparent in a number of key areas”, and that “urgent action” is needed to “ensure these are addressed” and to establish “whether resolution is feasible”, the report states.