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18 May 2016, 12:47 | Updated: 18 May 2016, 12:52
The NHS Trusts running Hinchingbrooke Hospital and the Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals have published a joint business case which outlines the benefits of the two organisations working together in the future.
The Outline Business Case will be discussed by each Trust’s board of directors in separate meetings to be held in public next week. The boards will separately decide whether or not to accept the recommendations made in the case and how to progress from there.
The business case, which has been developed since January 2016, explores the clinical benefits of the two Trusts working together and examines what this might mean for both patients and staff. It does not recommend changing services at either hospital, but it does highlight the risks of the organisations not collaborating at all – which could have a negative impact upon some services for patients particularly in Huntingdon.
The work also shows there's £9m of savings a year in back office services. The document concludes with a recommendation that in order to sustain and improve services for patients and the taxpayer in Huntingdonshire, Greater Peterborough and South Lincolnshire, both Trusts would benefit from working as one organisation and merge on 1 April 2017.
In a joint statement, the two chief executives of the hospital Trusts, Lance McCarthy of Hinchingbrooke Health Care Trust, and Stephen Graves, of Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The Outline Business Case has been compiled following extensive engagement with both the clinical and non-clinical teams in both organisations in the past five months. All four options have been tested in a rigorous appraisal process carried out by the CEOs, Chief Nurses and Medical Directors of both Trusts. The recommended option is to work as one organisation and merge our two Trusts on 1 April 2017.
“If the boards of each Trust approve the recommended option, the next step will be to produce a Full Business Case to set out how it will be put into operation. Both Trusts are committed to engaging with members of the public to help inform a Full Business Case which will be completed by the end of September 2016.”
Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly reacted on twitter by saying: "Peterborough and Hinchingbrooke hospitals to recommend prep of business case for full merger. This is not what Hunts people wanted to hear."
The Outline Business Case will be discussed by the boards of both Trusts in the following two meetings to be held in public: