Report damns Bournemouth and Poole hospital merger plans

Rubbished: Not enough evidence hospital merger is for patients benefit, says OFT

Rubbished: Not enough evidence hospital merger is for patients benefit, says OFT

First published in News
Last updated

A DAMNING report into the proposed merger of Bournemouth and Poole hospitals has shot down many of the benefits anticipated by hospital chiefs.

Criticisms about a lack of evidence and doubts about whether the merger of Bournemouth and Poole’s hospitals trusts is likely to bring any benefits to patients are detailed in two reports.

The reports are from the Office of Fair Trading and Monitor, the independent regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts.

Read the OFT report in full here and the Monitor report in full here

They suggest that based on the information available, the majority of benefits to patients may not outweigh the risks to competition.

And they question whether the contentious merger is needed at all to achieve most of the hospitals’ suggested benefits.

Christchurch MP Chris Chope, who has consistently challenged the hospital to release more information about the merger, said the two hospital trusts led by Tony Spotswood and Chris Bown had failed to acknowledge that the merger would have significant repercussions for patients.

“The reports cover a whole range of areas and what they show is that many of the benefits are speculative or uncertain and that many of them can be achieved without the merger or are not dependent on the merger.

“It makes quite clear the impact would be significant to many people and they (the trusts) have underestimated the impact of that which is very important in terms of customer services.”

He added: “It is quite interesting that they (Monitor) have taken to task the assurance that back office services could only be reduced with a merger of the hospitals as they say the back office savings could be achieved without the need for the hospital to merge.”

The concerns led the OFT to refer the proposal to the Competition Commission in January.

How the saga unfolded

  • June 2011 – Merger option first mooted for Bournemouth and Poole Hospitals.
  • November 2011 – Boards of both hospitals agree to press ahead with proposals.
  • January 2012 – 740 could go through proposed merger. Hospitals say this will be through natural turnover.
  • February 2012 – First series of public meetings set to be held over proposed merger.
  • May 2012 – Current chairman of Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch hospitals, Jane Stichbury, announced as proposed chairman should merger go ahead.
  • July 2012 – 36 out of 40 Poole councillors back emergency motion expressing concern over merger process.
  • November 2012 – Christchurch MP Chris Chope voices fears over loss of services.
  • January 2013 – OFT refers merger to Competition Commission.

 

Comments (16)

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10:19am Fri 22 Feb 13

shh I am at work says...

Its a takeover and not a merger.

The proposed board is all Bournemouth
Its a takeover and not a merger. The proposed board is all Bournemouth shh I am at work
  • Score: 0

11:52am Fri 22 Feb 13

muscliffman says...

To me this principle has to be sound.

There must be great waste in having two substantial organisations carrying out many of the same functions in two neighbouring towns. The private sector would surely have taken an axe to this position many years ago.

Every argument that supports the merger of the three towns of Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch into a single 'City' Administration applies equally to the two/three area Hospitals.

Removing layers of needlessly duplicated NHS penpushing jobs and not a few of the NHS fat-cats to enable local Health funding to reach front line patients must be the way to go.

Pride comes before a fall and here we see it again, a merger, Bournemouth wins, Poole looses, a takeover......, who cares, if the overall NHS service for us all improves.
To me this principle has to be sound. There must be great waste in having two substantial organisations carrying out many of the same functions in two neighbouring towns. The private sector would surely have taken an axe to this position many years ago. Every argument that supports the merger of the three towns of Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch into a single 'City' Administration applies equally to the two/three area Hospitals. Removing layers of needlessly duplicated NHS penpushing jobs and not a few of the NHS fat-cats to enable local Health funding to reach front line patients must be the way to go. Pride comes before a fall and here we see it again, a merger, Bournemouth wins, Poole looses, a takeover......, who cares, if the overall NHS service for us all improves. muscliffman
  • Score: 0

12:18pm Fri 22 Feb 13

hamworthygarden says...

We have nothing but praise for both Poole and Bournemouth Hospitals, some of the services are merged i.e. the eye clinics and I have had to travel to Bournemouth and have also spoken at the Poole clinic to patients who have travelled from the Bournemouth area and it can sometimes be difficult. Poole has been a life saver for my husband and I want it to stay as it is. We could cut down on the number of 'managers' within each hospital without the need to merge, they cut down other staffing levels in Poole why not the management on high salaries which would make a big difference to the budget.
We have nothing but praise for both Poole and Bournemouth Hospitals, some of the services are merged i.e. the eye clinics and I have had to travel to Bournemouth and have also spoken at the Poole clinic to patients who have travelled from the Bournemouth area and it can sometimes be difficult. Poole has been a life saver for my husband and I want it to stay as it is. We could cut down on the number of 'managers' within each hospital without the need to merge, they cut down other staffing levels in Poole why not the management on high salaries which would make a big difference to the budget. hamworthygarden
  • Score: 0

1:02pm Fri 22 Feb 13

kingstonpaul says...

Yet another proposal so that superannuated NHS fat-cat bureaucrats and their management consultant cronies have something to keep them occupied.
This merger will make b**ger all difference to the quality of healthcare provision. Assuming that the feasibility study alone will have gobbled up the best part of a million quid in salaries and consultancy fees, imagine how many extra ward staff this could have purchased.
Yet another proposal so that superannuated NHS fat-cat bureaucrats and their management consultant cronies have something to keep them occupied. This merger will make b**ger all difference to the quality of healthcare provision. Assuming that the feasibility study alone will have gobbled up the best part of a million quid in salaries and consultancy fees, imagine how many extra ward staff this could have purchased. kingstonpaul
  • Score: 0

1:48pm Fri 22 Feb 13

muscliffman says...

kingstonpaul wrote:
Yet another proposal so that superannuated NHS fat-cat bureaucrats and their management consultant cronies have something to keep them occupied.
This merger will make b**ger all difference to the quality of healthcare provision. Assuming that the feasibility study alone will have gobbled up the best part of a million quid in salaries and consultancy fees, imagine how many extra ward staff this could have purchased.
Quite, but it also keeps the fat-cats in the publicly funded organisations disagreeing with the proposals at the same ever replenishing public trough.

'.....reports are from the Office of Fair Trading and Monitor, the independent regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts.'

If they nodded this through what would be the point of them either.
[quote][p][bold]kingstonpaul[/bold] wrote: Yet another proposal so that superannuated NHS fat-cat bureaucrats and their management consultant cronies have something to keep them occupied. This merger will make b**ger all difference to the quality of healthcare provision. Assuming that the feasibility study alone will have gobbled up the best part of a million quid in salaries and consultancy fees, imagine how many extra ward staff this could have purchased.[/p][/quote]Quite, but it also keeps the fat-cats in the publicly funded organisations disagreeing with the proposals at the same ever replenishing public trough. '.....reports are from the Office of Fair Trading and Monitor, the independent regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts.' If they nodded this through what would be the point of them either. muscliffman
  • Score: 0

1:56pm Fri 22 Feb 13

Dr Strangelove says...

Outsourcing dosent work all that will happen is that companies will drive the bottom line and make massive profits for the share holders this will be at the expense of patient care and terms and conditions of the staff.
Outsourcing dosent work all that will happen is that companies will drive the bottom line and make massive profits for the share holders this will be at the expense of patient care and terms and conditions of the staff. Dr Strangelove
  • Score: 0

3:05pm Fri 22 Feb 13

coster says...

'Hamworthy Garden' yes I concur with your view, in the case of Christchurch the NHS referal system shows Christchurch as a viable option to select for an Eye Clinic - just try to book an appointment!, it seems its for ' selected patients' only , at least thats what I was informed in RBH.
'Hamworthy Garden' yes I concur with your view, in the case of Christchurch the NHS referal system shows Christchurch as a viable option to select for an Eye Clinic - just try to book an appointment!, it seems its for ' selected patients' only , at least thats what I was informed in RBH. coster
  • Score: 0

3:44pm Fri 22 Feb 13

shh I am at work says...

All the managers will keep a job on at least a 3 year protected salary.

It doesn't say any management positions will be made redundant.

They will just move them around as they always do.
All the managers will keep a job on at least a 3 year protected salary. It doesn't say any management positions will be made redundant. They will just move them around as they always do. shh I am at work
  • Score: 0

4:02pm Fri 22 Feb 13

garethmj says...

shh I am at work wrote:
Its a takeover and not a merger.

The proposed board is all Bournemouth
Having been a patient at both hospitals for a serious condition I would not welcome a merger. At Poole I was treated very well with kindness, consideration, courtesy and respect, and above my condition was treated properly. My experiences at Bournemouth were dreadful and on four occasions I left with infections picked up during procedures. I was also treated as though I didn't matter. I would not want the attitudes of Bournemouth to "infect" those of Poole. I am facing the prospect of very serious surgery which can only be carried out ot Bournemouth and the fact that I have to go into that hospital terrifies more than the surgery does. If I had a choice between Bournemouth hospital and Hell, I think the latter might be better.
[quote][p][bold]shh I am at work[/bold] wrote: Its a takeover and not a merger. The proposed board is all Bournemouth[/p][/quote]Having been a patient at both hospitals for a serious condition I would not welcome a merger. At Poole I was treated very well with kindness, consideration, courtesy and respect, and above my condition was treated properly. My experiences at Bournemouth were dreadful and on four occasions I left with infections picked up during procedures. I was also treated as though I didn't matter. I would not want the attitudes of Bournemouth to "infect" those of Poole. I am facing the prospect of very serious surgery which can only be carried out ot Bournemouth and the fact that I have to go into that hospital terrifies more than the surgery does. If I had a choice between Bournemouth hospital and Hell, I think the latter might be better. garethmj
  • Score: 0

8:22pm Fri 22 Feb 13

ajj-dorset says...

Who would have thought that the managment didnt really have a proper case to support their plans, but ploughed on regardless, telling everyone it was the only way forward.

They are doing the same in christchurch, i hope people are not fooled by their blackmail.
Who would have thought that the managment didnt really have a proper case to support their plans, but ploughed on regardless, telling everyone it was the only way forward. They are doing the same in christchurch, i hope people are not fooled by their blackmail. ajj-dorset
  • Score: 0

7:52am Sat 23 Feb 13

Crank says...

ajj-dorset wrote:
Who would have thought that the managment didnt really have a proper case to support their plans, but ploughed on regardless, telling everyone it was the only way forward.

They are doing the same in christchurch, i hope people are not fooled by their blackmail.
Well they are, and convincing everyone with a blitzkrieg of epic proportions: glossy leaflets in hospitals and GP surgeries, leaflets through doors, press releases. Plainly saying 'choose between the original historic buildings or having a hospital'. Everyone who cares for the former has all but thrown in the towel, so what do you do?
[quote][p][bold]ajj-dorset[/bold] wrote: Who would have thought that the managment didnt really have a proper case to support their plans, but ploughed on regardless, telling everyone it was the only way forward. They are doing the same in christchurch, i hope people are not fooled by their blackmail.[/p][/quote]Well they are, and convincing everyone with a blitzkrieg of epic proportions: glossy leaflets in hospitals and GP surgeries, leaflets through doors, press releases. Plainly saying 'choose between the original historic buildings or having a hospital'. Everyone who cares for the former has all but thrown in the towel, so what do you do? Crank
  • Score: 0

12:47pm Sat 23 Feb 13

bibocherry says...

Finally, someone is making a stand against Bournemouth Hospital. Tony Spotswood is a disgrace. Christchurch Hospital was running most efficiently, in fact better than Bournemouth. H block, G block and J, K and M had just been refurbished a told should last for years. Spotswood comes on the seen, sees an opportunity to sell off land and make a profit to make it look good on his ledgers. So he has now brainwashed everyone into thinking that if we do not agree with his plans we will lose all services. Unfortunately, he will make sure that we do. At the moment they have already had to back track om M ward. Come on people of Christchurch, we have a very good hospital here already, figures for refurbishment do not tally, it is all to convince us that the buildings are unsustainable.
Finally, someone is making a stand against Bournemouth Hospital. Tony Spotswood is a disgrace. Christchurch Hospital was running most efficiently, in fact better than Bournemouth. H block, G block and J, K and M had just been refurbished a told should last for years. Spotswood comes on the seen, sees an opportunity to sell off land and make a profit to make it look good on his ledgers. So he has now brainwashed everyone into thinking that if we do not agree with his plans we will lose all services. Unfortunately, he will make sure that we do. At the moment they have already had to back track om M ward. Come on people of Christchurch, we have a very good hospital here already, figures for refurbishment do not tally, it is all to convince us that the buildings are unsustainable. bibocherry
  • Score: 0

2:22pm Sat 23 Feb 13

coster says...

Christchurch now has revised plans for -GP Surgery, Retail Pharmacy - 80 Bed Care Home -35 Senior Living Apartments - Up to 30 houses and 40 Flats.
Anyone notice anything NHS in this?.
Looks like a commercial takeover - Follow The Money!.
Christchurch now has revised plans for -GP Surgery, Retail Pharmacy - 80 Bed Care Home -35 Senior Living Apartments - Up to 30 houses and 40 Flats. Anyone notice anything NHS in this?. Looks like a commercial takeover - Follow The Money!. coster
  • Score: 0

4:06pm Sat 23 Feb 13

RivermeadMike says...

God help patients if Bournemouth Hospital was to take over Poole Hospital.

From recent experience Poole Maternity are brilliant and cannot be rated too highly.

On the other hand beware of Bournemouth. Not only did an elderly relative contract the Norovirus, she was also infected by a presumably dirty catheter or nurse. Sadly she died in hospital.

A word of warning, if you have a relative who is expected to die in Bournemouth, remove any valuables, including rings on fingers. They will be stolen otherwise.
God help patients if Bournemouth Hospital was to take over Poole Hospital. From recent experience Poole Maternity are brilliant and cannot be rated too highly. On the other hand beware of Bournemouth. Not only did an elderly relative contract the Norovirus, she was also infected by a presumably dirty catheter or nurse. Sadly she died in hospital. A word of warning, if you have a relative who is expected to die in Bournemouth, remove any valuables, including rings on fingers. They will be stolen otherwise. RivermeadMike
  • Score: 0

10:43pm Sun 24 Feb 13

point--of--view says...

coster wrote:
Christchurch now has revised plans for -GP Surgery, Retail Pharmacy - 80 Bed Care Home -35 Senior Living Apartments - Up to 30 houses and 40 Flats. Anyone notice anything NHS in this?. Looks like a commercial takeover - Follow The Money!.
It’s so sad really. The objectors are having a nightmare competing with the PR campaign! The only chance to save a hospital as they suggest is to oppose the scheme.

Looking at the plans other than the chaplaincy and a few new entrances nothing new is being added to the hospital!

A bad deal indeed for Christchurch residents. All the money being “invested” is being spent on the demolition of the hospital to clear it for commercial developments. A very sad irony!
[quote][p][bold]coster[/bold] wrote: Christchurch now has revised plans for -GP Surgery, Retail Pharmacy - 80 Bed Care Home -35 Senior Living Apartments - Up to 30 houses and 40 Flats. Anyone notice anything NHS in this?. Looks like a commercial takeover - Follow The Money!.[/p][/quote]It’s so sad really. The objectors are having a nightmare competing with the PR campaign! The only chance to save a hospital as they suggest is to oppose the scheme. Looking at the plans other than the chaplaincy and a few new entrances nothing new is being added to the hospital! A bad deal indeed for Christchurch residents. All the money being “invested” is being spent on the demolition of the hospital to clear it for commercial developments. A very sad irony! point--of--view
  • Score: 0

7:43am Mon 25 Feb 13

Crank says...

The NHS leaflets suggest 'new care home' without saying it's private; 'retain McMillan Unit' whereas it's autonomous and not apparently in any danger'; conserve and enhance the green' whereas they're building on it.But they have frightened the locals into agreeing with it and this will go through. They have spent a fortune making sure it does.
Boils down to who trusts the NHS now and who doesn't? Only the wisest or most sceptical can see it's very dubious and not as claimed.
This is a form of privatisation of hospital facilities. And a GP surgery and a dentist are not actually hospital facilities. The new element is an enlarged imaging unit.
Nice to have some comments with some insight but it's bye bye H Block and don't forget to say bye bye to G Block, which was never even given conservation area protection for some unfathiomable reasons.
By the way, the specialist conservation advice was to make these buildings locally listed and put Article 4 directions on them in case they were threatened with demolition. Not much was made of that at CBC.
The NHS leaflets suggest 'new care home' without saying it's private; 'retain McMillan Unit' whereas it's autonomous and not apparently in any danger'; conserve and enhance the green' whereas they're building on it.But they have frightened the locals into agreeing with it and this will go through. They have spent a fortune making sure it does. Boils down to who trusts the NHS now and who doesn't? Only the wisest or most sceptical can see it's very dubious and not as claimed. This is a form of privatisation of hospital facilities. And a GP surgery and a dentist are not actually hospital facilities. The new element is an enlarged imaging unit. Nice to have some comments with some insight but it's bye bye H Block and don't forget to say bye bye to G Block, which was never even given conservation area protection for some unfathiomable reasons. By the way, the specialist conservation advice was to make these buildings locally listed and put Article 4 directions on them in case they were threatened with demolition. Not much was made of that at CBC. Crank
  • Score: 0

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