The board of St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust agreed at its meeting held on March 31st to delay the timeline for its Foundation Trust (FT) application to April 2013.

In taking this decision the board acknowledged that, while the trust had successfully met the clinical and governance standards required to become a FT, there is still work required to improve the financial performance of the trust. For the financial year 2011/12 St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust faces a £55m efficiency challenge. Moving the FT application back to April 2013 will allow the trust to focus on meeting its financial targets while continuing to provide excellent care to patients.

Naaz Coker, chair of St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are fully committed to providing the highest standards of care to all the communities we serve. The trust is a major trauma centre, hyper-acute stroke unit and centre of excellence for cancer, cardiac and women’s and children’s services. In addition, since October 2010, we have been responsible for providing community services in Wandsworth.

“In the last five years we have worked successfully to improve the trust’s finances while continuing to develop leading-edge services. However, while we have met the clinical standards to become a FT there is still work needed to ensure that St George’s Healthcare secures its long-term financial future.

“The board recognises that if we put the organisation under pressure to become an FT during 2011/12 then this is could impact on the quality and safety of the patient care that we provide. That is a risk that the board is not prepared to take.

“Since formally launching our FT plans in May 2010 we have received an enthusiastic response from our public, patients and staff and the trust’s membership numbers currently stand at over 4,000. While our timeline for becoming an FT may have changed our commitment to engage with existing members and recruit new ones continues.”

Notes to editors

  1. For more information, please contact the communications team at St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust on 020 8725 5151 or Outside working hours, please page the team by calling 0844 822 2888, leaving a short message and contact details for pager SG548.