STRUCTURE: Progress towards the transfer of community services to the trust from two primary care trusts is on track, with the main obstacle being lack of agreement on commissioning contracts, latest board papers show.

A report to the January board meeting of the hospitals trust says that the approvals process for the establishment of an integrated care organisation, incorporating the trust and services from NHS Sefton and NHS Central Lancashire, is “on programme” for a 1 April start date.

But it warns that the main barrier to forming the organisation on that date is the current lack of agreement on commissioning contracts for community services.

It states: “This presents the trust with a significant financial risk dependent on the form the contract(s) take and it is reccomended that the business transfer agreement should not be completed until this matter is resolved.”

It adds that the information submitted by the two PCTs in response to a due diligence questionaire is “poor”, but says this is unlikely to delay the deal.