STRUCTURE: Improving governance and leadership will be key to Plymouth Hospitals Trust acheiving foundation trust status, according to the trust’s tripartite formal agreement.

It states: “Recent performance issues demonstrate a need for improved governance and leadership throughout the trust. The new chairman started in November 2010. A comprehensive governance review commenced in December 2010. The trust chief executive left the organisation in July 2011 and the trust will have an interim chief executive in place.”

The trust launched a previous application in 2008 but withdrew it the following year. Later in 2009 it was put “under review” by the Department of Health.

The current application was put on hold earlier this year after the CQC raised concerns staff were not using the World Health Organisation surgical check list.

Other risks to achieving foundation trust status identified by the TFA include the achievement of an 8 per cent quality, innovation, productivity and prevention plan.

It states: “The trust has a good track record of achieving financial breakeven but has faced significant challenges in meeting control totals agreed with the SHA.”

The trust is aiming to be authorised in February 2013.