THE next milestone in the transformation of the hospital trust is expected in the coming month.

Documents outlining how two trusts plan to take ownership of Pennine Acute are expected shortly.

The strategic cases for how Salford Royal and Manchester University Foundation Trusts will split Pennine Acute are expected in the next month.

Though Jon Rouse, chief officer of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, did warn: "If the strategic cases don't add up for any reason it's very difficult move forward."

He added: "It's out hope they will be approved and we will be able to move forward."

Mr Rouse was speaking to members of the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee for Pennine Acute NHS Trust on Tuesday morning.

Pennine Acute Hospital’s NHS Trust is in the process of being broken up.

North Manchester General Hospital will become part of the Manchester University Foundation Trust.

While the remaining hospitals in Pennine Acute, including Fairfield General Hospital, will be absorbed by Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, into what is being called the Northern Care Alliance.

It is expected that the spilt of the trust will be completed by March 31, 2020, though the complete overhaul of the hospitals working will take longer.

Splitting the trust and bring the hospitals under the umbrella of Salford Royal will help them to share good practice.

He noted that Pennine "has had a poor care record" which had impacted its premiums, driving up their prices.

Mr Rouse said: "The status of Salford Royal ­— it's a truly outstanding trust. It's two times rated outstanding, the first to get the double outstanding from the CQC.

"It's very used to operating a hospital in a broad health and social care construct."

In the future health chiefs in Greater Manchester are looking to move care out of hospitals and into the community.

Mr Rouse praised Rochdale Infirmary saying they were ahead of the curve with this approach.