STRUCTURE: Western Sussex Hospitals has been approved by the Department of Health’s technical committee.

In her latest board report, trust chief executive Marianne Griffiths said “our application to become a foundation trust passed a key milestone” on 28 October.

She said: “Our bid was considered by the Department of Health’s technical committee and they decided that we were ready to progress on to the next stage.

“This is excellent news for us, not least because when we went before this same committee a few months ago we were told we would need to provide more assurance. Clearly the committee members have recognised the work that has gone on since then, and are of the view that the trust is performing at high standards of quality, and is efficient and financially sustainable.”

The trust had earlier in the month received a letter of support for its application from NHS Sussex.

Ms Griffiths said the next step was for the application to be approved by a high-level clinical committee and applications group, and we will not put our case to them until January.

“Assuming this goes well, it means that Monitor are likely to be with us in February,” she told the board.