It is, of course, not for HSJ to speculate why a months old PFI story appeared so prominently in the quality press yesterday.

Other commentators have suggested it had something to do with the Labour party conference starting next week (HSJ’s story came out in April).

But what IS certain is that difficult news is due from the hospital sector over the coming weeks.

A defensive DH still insists all of the Tripartite Formal Agreements for how non-FTs will become FTs will be signed off by the end of September.Today’s tally for acutes is 16 out of 72 -one up on my last post on this subject 10 days ago.

I make that five working days to finish off the remaining 56 trusts.Given that some of these places are going to have to admit “we can’t make it” and be reconfigured there will be a wave of this fairly contentious news coming out, well, next week (Labour conference) or the week after (Conservative conference).

That and there’s talk of other long-delayed but contentious projects being approved but sat on until things get a bit less political.And all that’s before one gets to wondering if there’s bad financial news to come out of the acute sector - isn’t The Quarter for Q1 11/12 out next week?

On a similar tack, we reported last week that the NAO is looking at a swathe of aspirant FTs attempts to get approved which is due to report in October.

An astute reader points out to me “this is Margaret Hodge’s opportunity to get Nicholson back before the [Parliamentary Accounts] committee and grill him on non-viable trusts, the private sector, closures etc”.

He’s been on Teflon form at previous PAC appearances but with the TFAs presumably out in the open by then, it might be difficult to avoid getting drawn into the detail of trusts due for fairly serious reconfiguration.

Other reconfiguration chat since September 13th was Circle in the running for Epsom and a fifth hospital admitting they were up for being private franchise managed.More in the pipeline? Well Weston is small…

Answers, as before on a powerpoint slide.