HOSPITAL chiefs are to seek foundation trust status to head off the prospect of being taken over.
The Mid-Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Dewsbury District Hospital, wants to apply for foundation status by 2016.
Bosses previously said Mid-Yorkshire’s cash woes meant it could not meet the criteria.
A clause in the Government’s Health and Social Care Act 2012 requires all to convert by April next year and those that cannot do so have to become part of an existing foundation trust – meaning Mid-Yorkshire would have to merge with one.
Bosses believe they can go it alone after claiming the trust’s cash position has improved over the last year.
Foundation trusts, like school academies, have a governing body and more freedom to run themselves.
A creation of the last Labour Government, they are authorised and regulated by an independent group called Monitor.
The Secretary of State can intervene where necessary, as happened in the controversy over the Mid-Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. Department of Heath mandarins have compiled a report on the 101 trusts that have not already converted.
Mid-Yorkshire is ranked as “needing more work to achieve sustainability” but is given the go-ahead to apply for foundation trust status.
Interim chief executive Stephen Eames said: “This is recognition of the progress being made through the hard work of all our staff.
“There have been significant improvements against a range of safety and performance indicators.
“These include hospital mortality rates and national standards for the time taken to treat people in A&E and following referral by a GP.
“To become a foundation trust we will need to demonstrate our ability to meet stringent standards in quality, services and finances.
“But these standards are the fundamental basics that our patients both expect and deserve.”