§ Mr. Dobson
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if hospital trusts with deficits will be entitled to(a) apply for foundation status and (b) obtain foundation status. 
§ Mr. Hutton
[holding answer 12 December 2002]: National health service foundation trust status will only be made available to high performing three-star acute and specialist NHS trusts. The application process will entail an independent financial review in which applicants will need to clearly demonstrate a track record of good financial management and be financially viable.