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Royal Surrey Planning Merger Of Services With Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals

Published on: 4 May, 2014
Updated on: 4 May, 2014

The Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford is planning a merger of services with Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals.

The boards of both NHS Foundation Trusts have announced that they have “agreed that merging the two organisations will be the best way to ensure high quality local healthcare with maximum benefits for patients”.

The Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford.

The Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford.

They will undertake more detailed work on developing a business case for a merger.

This decision follows a period of partnership between the two trusts over the last 18 months, who have worked together on a number of clinical projects to improve services for local patients.

The trusts say that a larger organisation and catchment population would allow a number of key benefits:

  • The development of a wider range of specialist services locally, bringing services back from London.
  • Increased seven-day working, including joint consultant rotas so patients in hospital are reviewed by a consultant every day.
  • Improved access for patients to cutting edge treatments and innovations through a wider partnership with Surrey and Royal Holloway Universities.
  • Maximising benefits of digital technology, for example in developing an electronic patient record much sooner that either organisation would be able to do on their own.

 The medical director at The Royal Surrey County Hospital, Christopher Tibbs, said: “Our strategy puts the patient at the heart of our plans and includes a clear vision for our three hospital sites, which already complement each other well.

“The Royal Surrey County Hospital will continue as an emergency and specialist cancer centre, with no planned changes to A&E, maternity or paediatric services, with the opportunity to develop more specialist cancer services.

“We want to develop St Peter’s Hospital [at Chertsey] as a major emergency centre, building on recent developments in cardiovascular services and other specialities such as limb reconstruction and a Level 3 neonatal intensive care unit. Ashford Hospital will develop as a planned surgery and diagnostic centre where we can provide more local cancer treatments services. This is about enhancing services and doesn’t mean patients will have to travel further for routine hospital services.”

The medical director at Ashford & St Peter’s, David Fluck, added: “Healthcare is changing and we must change with it. People are living longer – often with multiple conditions; combined with new medicines and technologies and a strong focus on improving quality of care we need to transform the way we work to keep pace with these changes and continue to develop.  The two trusts working together gives us the opportunity to make the transformational change we need for our patients.”

Over the last few months both trusts have been engaging widely with staff, governors, patient representatives and other local stakeholders who have shown broad support for the partnership and increased collaboration. 

A merger will take around 12 to 18 months to implement and is subject to regulatory approval from the Competition and Markets Authority and risk assessment by Monitor – the independent regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts.

Both trusts will now be working with these regulators to seek approval for the transaction and to develop a full business case for a final decision and approval by boards and governors later in the year.

The chief executive of the Royal Surrey County Hospital, Nick Moberly, said: “Moving towards a merger is exciting with lots of positive opportunities for both patients and staff and we are looking forward to getting on with the next steps.

“Developing ideas with staff, patients and other stakeholders has been really helpful and we will continue to engage widely over the next year to 18 months, at the same time working hard to ensure our day to day business continues as usual during this time.”


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Responses to Royal Surrey Planning Merger Of Services With Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals

  1. Mary Bedforth Reply

    May 5, 2014 at 9:56 am

    ‘Over the last few months both trusts have been engaging widely with staff, governors, patient representatives and other local stakeholders who have shown broad support for the partnership and increased collaboration.’

    This is shocking news to me and I expect to most people. How many departments that are duplicated will close? How many staff will be made redundant?
    Will we in Guildford be transported on congested roads to an A&E at Chertsey? So many questions. Will our MP be rushing in to save the RSCH as she did before when it was under threat? Probably not.

    The whole of our beloved NHS is now under great threat.

    The plan is Demoralize, Dismantle. Destroy. The privateers move in as more and more services are put out to private companies.

    People think it will be there for ever when they need it but once it has been broken up, it can never be replaced.

    PS Wexham Park Hospital is merging with Frimley Park.

  2. Peter Lloyd Reply

    May 13, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    It appears to me that this is turning the clock back not looking forward. If the NHS continues in this direction we will end up with one monolithic block, just like we used to, and then someone will come up with the brilliant new idea os splitting it up into smaller units and there we go again wasting money, justifying administrators jobs and generally not addressing the real problems.

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