FINANCE: The central London foundation trust pledged to stay in the lowest three categories of financial risk maintained by FT regulator Monitor - despite challenges from commissioners.

The trust is in arbitration with the North Central London cluster, which consists of Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Haringey and Islington PCTs, over its 2011-12 contract.

Chief executive Sir Robert Naylor’s report to the May board said: “I have signed a declaration to the effect that ‘the trust will continue to maintain a financial risk rating of at least three over the next 12 months’.

“This declaration was submitted with a number of caveats concerning commissioning risks (a satisfactory outcome of contract negotiations, and payment for activity including cash consequences) and continuing funding for specialist activity in line with Project Diamond.”

Project Diamond is the fund established by NHS London to compensate hospitals doing lots of specialist work for the higher costs they faced under the tariff. The trust received £10m under the scheme in 2010-11.

Sir Robert also revealed that the trust would be submitting an extenuating circumstances report to the Care Quality Commission over breaches in the cancer waiting time limit.

His report said: “This failure does not reflect any material weaknesses in UCLH governance and that the breaches were predominantly caused by issues outside of our control. The board will recollect that the number of patients concerned is extremely small and that late referrals, from other hospitals, for one or two patients will result in UCLH breaching the target.”