CHRISTCHURCH MP Chris Chope has asked how much the application to merge the Royal Bournemouth Hospital and Poole Hospital has cost.

The MP, who has previously been critical of the proposed merger between the two local hospital trusts, asked the Secretary of State for Health, what the total cost was to both hospitals separately.

He also asked for an estimate of additional costs incurred by each trust before the application would be determined by the Competition Commission.

MP Dr Dan Poulter, parliamentary under secretary of state for health, said the information was not held by the department.

He said they had written to the trust’s chairmen, Jane Stichbury and Angela Schofield, to inform them of the enquiry.