STRUCTURE: The trust’s progress towards its application for foundation trust status was “red rated” by NHS North of England in December, as it had been for the two previous months.

The strategic health authority cluster’s latest provider development update states that St Helens and Knowsley – which is due to submit its application to the Department of Health in April – is “experiencing difficulty” meeting the national accident and emergency waiting target.

It added that by the end of October the trust had recorded seven cases of MRSA against a year-to-date target of no more than three, and 17 cases of Clostridium difficile against a year-to-date target of no more than 12.

It noted that the trust was expecting DH funding to support its private finance initiative costs, but this was dependent on the trust demonstrating progress against four tests, including “having a robust plan to achieve FT status”.

The report added: “Trust is requesting a delayed [tripartite formal agreement] to September 2013 – to be agreed with NHS [Trust Development Authority].”