Hospital trust merger with Frimley Park could go live in August

Hospital trust merger with Frimley Park could go live in August

Reporter:

Hannah Crouch

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Hospital trust merger with Frimley Park could go live in August

The merger of the trust which runs Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals with its Frimley Park equivalent could go live as soon as August 1 if the green light is given.

Dr Timothy Ho gave a presentation encouraging the motion to board members and directors from Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, at the council of governors meeting held at Legoland Windsor Hotel last night.

He stressed that combining the two trusts would put them ‘in a strong position to gain super A&E status’, and would provide a ‘greater choice for patients in Windsor, Bracknell and Ascot’.

If the motion was rejected, the Government could still intervene forcing the two trusts to combine, and Dr Ho stressed the hospital trust did not want to face an ‘unsatisfactory merger’.

Chief executive, Andrew Morris, stated that taking on Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust would be ‘a high risk and would not be a walk in the park’ but there are benefits to combining the two trusts which together would cover around 800,000 people.

Last week Heatherwood and Wexham Park hospitals were placed in special measures following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission [CQC] in February.

Inspectors criticised unsafe staffing levels with a shortage of doctors and nurses and the high number of agency staff at Wexham, in Slough, was brought up at the meeting.

Assistant director of human resources, John Ireland, said: “We will try and fill some of the positions that are vacant and fill them with permanent people.

“That is a more efficient solution.”

The decision depends on the approval of the Competition and Markets Authority and other monitoring bodies.

If the go-ahead is given the merger could take place on August 1. 

See Friday's Express for a full report.

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