Private healthcare trusts have been asked whether they would be interested in running services at an NHS trust which was taken over by an administrator for being on the brink of bankruptcy.

South London Healthcare Trust, which runs three hospitals in the capital, was the first trust to be put on an “unsustainable providers regime” because it as losing £1 million a week.

Special administrator Matthew Kershaw was tasked with putting the trust on a viable footing.

Yesterday, Mr Kershaw invited providers of NHS care, including private companies and NHS organisations, to express whether they would be interested in running services at the trust.

The organisations were asked to say whether they would like to be involved with the running of any aspect of the trust.

No decisions have yet been made about how the hospitals will be run in the future.

A spokesman from Mr Kershaw's office said: "The trust special administrator will make recommendations for changes to the way services are delivered, how, where and by whom.

"It is possible that there will be recommendations for organisational change as part of this. Whilst one solution will be to re-establish the South London Healthcare NHS Trust board, other organisational options must be considered.

"To support this, it is essential that the trust special administrator is aware of potential interest from NHS, independent and third sector parties in providing or managing NHS services in south east London to help develop and deliver a sustainable solution for the people of south east London.

"This is not a signal that decisions have been taken about the future of services or organisational solutions, rather it is an exercise to assess what interest there may be if new organisational forms are required."