STRUCTURE: Royal United Hospital Bath has become the latest trust to have its foundation status application restarted following a positive Care Quality Commission inspection.

Its application had been put on only hold after Monitor announced last year that it would not approve any more foundation trusts until the CQC had assessed them as providing quality care.

This followed a commitment by health secretary Jeremy Hunt that only trusts rated good or outstanding could be considered for foundation trust status.

Despite this commitment, the trust has re-started its application despite not receiving a rating.

Royal United was among the first wave of trusts to be inspected under the CQC’s new regime but before its rating methodology had been developed.

As a result it did not receive a rating but the CQC judged patients were receiving safe and effective care and the trust had demonstrated it could “lead significant change effectively”.

Monitor is due to begin its assessment of Royal United’s clinical and financial viability this month.

Trust chief executive James Scott said: “Achieving NHS foundation trust status is the next step on our journey of continuous quality improvement.

“We aim to become a real member led organisation, with better engagement with staff and public members, and will involve our governors and members in setting our strategy.

“We’ve done extremely well with managing our finances in recent years and being an FT will mean we can retain our surpluses and borrow to invest in new, improved services.”

Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals Trust, another aspirant FT inspected during the first wave, has had its bid put on hold after the CQC found concerns about staffing.

While St George’s Healthcare Trust is due to have its bid for FT status considered by Monitor after being rated as “good”.