'We won’t cut health services' vow hospital bosses after merger bid is thrown out (From Bournemouth Echo)
When news happens text pix and video to 80360. Start your message with BE then leave a space.
'We won’t cut health services' vow hospital bosses after merger bid is thrown out
HOSPITAL bosses have promised that health services won’t be axed, despite the proposed merger of Poole and Bournemouth being thrown out.
In its final report yesterday, the Competition Commission (CC) said it had blocked the move due to insufficient evidence that it would lead to benefits for patients.
The decision led to concern for the future for Poole, which had warned it would face a debt of around £8m by 2014/15 if the merger didn’t go ahead. The merger process has cost £5m.
But chief executive, Chris Bown, said there were no plans to cut services or to transfer any services to Bournemouth.
“We have always been very open about the trust’s financial position if the merger didn’t take place, but this isn’t to do with poor management or clinical issues. The situation at Poole is particularly challenging because of our case mix, which includes a high percentage of emergency care, and the way in which that type of care is now funded.
“But our board of directors is absolutely committed to sustaining services and maintaining the high standards of care that we are renowned for.”
Mr Bown added they had already saved in excess of £18m over the last three years and would need to look at saving around £30m over the next three years. He added: “There is always concern about cuts to services, but there are other ways to make savings.
“Plans for a new maternity unit can no longer go ahead now.
“But the future of Poole Hospital is safe and we will be looking at how we can make further efficiencies to meet the financial challenges ahead.”
Tony Spotswood, chief executive of Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Trust, said the whole merger process needs to be assessed.
He said: “This is the first merger between two NHS foundation trusts to be examined by the CC, and whilst we recognise it has a statutory role to perform and specific criteria which it must use to assess benefits, we believe that the outcome of the process is fundamentally wrong.
“It is a lengthy and expensive process which has cost £5m to date and taken just over 20 months so it needs to be looked at.”
- UPDATE: Hospital merger blocked by Competition Commission
- Hospitals merger bid ‘likely to be rejected’ chief tells staff in letter
- Hospitals merger "could shut Poole A&E" claims MP
- Benefits of Bournemouth and Poole hospitals merger outweigh concerns about choice, say trusts
- Report on Bournemouth and Poole hospital merger delayed
- Merger block fears for Bournemouth and Poole Hospital
- A bitter pill: Commission blocks Bournemouth and Poole hospital merger - on day NHS chief warns centralisation is vital for future of services
- RBH and Poole hospital 'must prove benefits' of merger says Competition Commission
- Poole hospital close? Ridiculous, says chief executive
The CC said a merger would ‘damage patients’ interests by eliminating competition and choice across a wide range of elective specialities, together accounting for about a third of the clinical revenues of each hospital’.
CC chairman Roger Witcomb said: “While the broad aims of the merger are desirable ones, there simply isn’t enough detail in the hospitals’ plans for us to conclude that any of the claimed benefits are likely to materialise.”
Comments are closed on this article.