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1 April 2010, 06:00
NHS East and North Hertfordshire and NHS West Heretfordshire are merging today to become one organisation.
The decision was confirmed by the Secretary of State for Health, Andy Burnham, at the beginning of last month after a consultation.
From today, the two Primary Care Trusts will be known as NHS Hertfordshire.
Since their establishment in October 2006, the Hertfordshire PCTs have shared a single integrated management team working across the two organisations with one chief executive and one set of directors. Many staff work for both organisations.
So although the merger doesn't seem like a big change, it is estimated that it currently costs about half a million pounds extra every year to support the two PCTs and their board.
Therefore the savings created by merging the PCTs will support the PCTs’ drive to improve services for the public.
Stuart Bloom was the former chair of West Hertfordshire PCT and has been appointed Chair of the new organisation. He's been telling Heart:
"We save around half a million pounds by only having the one board. So that enables us to put the money back into front line services. Also it enables the executive team particularly to focus on just a single board.
"It's not going to make a significant difference to people out there. I think the main issue is for us internally which brings us a single focus and enable us to keep a real priority over the things we need to do over the coming year or two."