Fringe Box



Hospital Merger Given Provisional Clearance by Competition Authority

Published on: 15 Aug, 2015
Updated on: 17 Aug, 2015
The Royal Surrey County Hospital

The Royal Surrey County Hospital

Provisional clearance has been given for the merger of the Royal Surrey County Hospital  and Ashford & St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trusts.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) provisionally cleared the proposed merger yesterday (August 14) following an in-depth investigation which concluded that the proposed merger, if completed, will not give rise to a substantial lessening of competition.

The CMA will now prepare their final report for publication no later than October 7, 2015.

Chief Executive of Ashford & St Peter’s Hospitals, Suzanne Rankin said:  “We are really pleased to see that the CMA has granted provisional clearance for the two Trusts to merge.

“Our proposal to merge is based around securing a stronger future for our two organisations which will allow us to deliver a number of important patient benefits, including more consultant care at weekends and increased investment in facilities and technology.

“This was recognised by the CMA during their investigation which highlighted the commitment and professional pride in the provision of high quality care by the staff of our organisations.”

Subject to final clearance by the CMA, the next stage will be for both boards to consider the full business case and detailed financial plans and then make their decision on the next step forward.

Subject to their approval the process will then include an assessment by Monitor, the health sector regulator, and at a later stage, final approvals from boards and Councils of Governors.

Nick Moberly, chief executive of the Royal Surrey County Hospital, said:  “While there is still a lot of hard work to do, today’s announcement marks a very positive step forward in our plans.

“Subject to approval by both boards to move to the next stage, we will embark on a wide engagement campaign to ensure people understand what these proposals mean for both patients and staff, and to hear their views.”

As part of today’s publication, the CMA also invites comments from the public and wider stakeholders on their findings which they will take into account when preparing their final report and conclusions. 

Subject to full regulatory, Board and Governor approvals, the earliest start date for the proposed new organisation would be Summer 2016.

Guildford’s MP Anne Milton commented: “What matters to local people is they get the high quality hospital services they need at their local hospital, at the Royal Surrey. Some services have been merged for some years now and to my knowledge there have not been any problems.

“However sharing services needs careful thought and planning. In particular that there is no change to the previous reassurances I have received  that maternity services and A&E will remain at Royal Surrey.”

Cllr Angela Gunning (Lab, Stoke) said: “I’d like to see the ‘more consultant care at weekends’ fully quantified. Does this equal more consultants? If so, working where?  Do they mean more care than at present? If so, how much is there at weekends at the moment?

“And ‘increased investment’ in what exactly? Which hospital are they referring to?  It is all rather too vague for me.”


Share This Post

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *