PERFORMANCE: St Helens and Knowsley’s bid for foundation trust status has been “escalated” for Department of Health scrutiny, after the trust’s progress along the FT pipeline was red-rated for three months in a row.

A paper submitted to strategic health authority cluster NHS North of England’s September board meeting states: “In July St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust received a third successive red rating and is now subject to the Department of Health’s (DH) escalation process.

“The Trust remains red rated in August.”

The trust’s “escalation meeting” with the DH is set to take place in October.

According to the NHS North of England provider development update, St Helens and Knowsley has already had four cases of MRSA against a plan for the year of no more than three, and seven cases of C Difficile against a plan for the year to date of no more than three. The trust is also “experiencing difficulty” meeting the accident and emergency waiting target of 95 per cent of patients seen within four hours, it states.

The paper adds that St Helens and Knowsley has submitted an “options appraisal” to the SHA regarding “its future potential for moving through the FT pipeline”.