STRUCTURE: The ambulance trust’s bid for foundation status was rated amber-red by NHS North West at the end of June, according to a letter sent by the strategic health authority last month.

According to a report to the trust’s July board meeting, the rating was a result of its failure to consistently hit its response time targets for “Category A” calls. The trust’s chief executive has responded to the NHS North West letter detailing its plans to address the issue, the report added.

The trust’s tripartite formal agreement on moving to foundation status states that it would not achieve the waiting times performance target for Category A calls in 2010-11 due to a four week period in December “when demand reached extraordinary levels due to the extreme winter weather conditions combined with a significant increase in the number of patients affected by the flu virus”.

It adds: “The trust has achieved this performance target for the other three quarters of the year and if this four week period is excluded the trust overall achieves the CAT A performance for the remaining 48 weeks of the year.”

According to the SHA’s letter, amber-red rating means a trust has met more than 60 per cent of the milestones in their FT application bid, but successful delivery of the programme is in doubt, with major risks or issues apparent in a number of key areas and urgent action needed to address these or determine whether resolution is feasible.