As you are probably aware, we have been working closely with The Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust on plans for a potential merger between our two organisations.
Any merger process is subject to regulatory approvals and in February our plans were temporarily paused when the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), following their initial assessment, decided to refer our plans to a second assessment phase, likely to last 6 months. The CMA has a statutory role to examine the impact that a proposed merger could have on patient choice and the quality of healthcare services. See more at www.gov.uk/cma-cases.
If cleared, our plans will then be examined by Monitor, the sector regulator for health services, before coming back to our Boards and Councils of Governors for final approval.
Importantly this doesn’t mean that the CMA are saying ‘no’, but it does mean they need to do more work before reaching a final decision.
By joining together, we believe we can improve and protect services for patients, as well as making savings we can reinvest back into better patient care, including:
Increased services at the weekend, including consultant reviews for certain specialties such as stroke;
- More specialist services locally;
- Improved links between hospitals and other local health services;
- Attracting the best staff, with more opportunity for innovation and research;
- Better opportunities for investment.