HUDDERSFIELD'S hospital trust is delaying its bid to become one of the Government's flagship hospitals.
The Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust - responsible for sites including Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and St Luke's Hospital at Crosland Moor - will not be applying for foundation status until issues with the way NHS money is paid to Private Finance Initiative hospitals are resolved.
The news comes after the trust's original application for foundation status was deferred last July, to enable new cash solutions for PFI sites such as the new Calderdale Royal Hospital in Halifax to be put in place.
The status, if granted, would give the trust greater financial control and more freedom from Whitehall.
But today its chief executive, Diane Whittingham, confirmed there was still work to be done before the application could be re-submitted.
She said: "We had to develop a five-year financial plan to show five-year viability.
"But because of the changes to how PFIs were funded it was going to impact on our finances.
"We were the only up and running PFI to apply, so we have been working with the Department of Health to resolve this.
"There are things outstanding and until they are sorted we will not be submitting an application for foundation status.
"It is very much still work in progress."
She said the issues included concerns about the way PFI hospitals would be funded under foundation status.
"We would get less funding because of some of our commitments here," she said.
"It is not about PFI costing more, but about funding changes."
Mrs Whittingham said the trust would also need to debate the benefits of foundation status again once issues had been resolved.
She added: "When we submitted the original application we believed it was the right thing to do.
"We need to debate if there are benefits for this organisation and the services it provides if it becomes a foundation hospital."