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15
Jul

Hospital merger blocked by commission


Hospital bosses have told the Daily Echo they are “bitterly disappointed” after a commission said they still need to prove the case for merging the Royal Bournemouth and Poole trusts.


They say then move is now very unlikely to go ahead. Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals chief executive Tony Spotswood and Poole Hospital chief executive Chris Bown told the Echo: “We are bitterly disappointed that the interests of competition are being put before the interests of patients, their care, welfare and safety. The Competition Commission asserts that the merger, with the number of management organisations reducing from two to one, will reduce patient choice.

“We plan to maintain two viable hospitals. The trusts have emphasised that they providecomplementary services, work together collaboratively, do not compete, and wish to come together to protect and enhance services for patients and residents of Poole and Bournemouth.”

The commission is set to make its final decision by August 26 but has given the Trusts more time to prove that any loss of patient choice would be outweighed by the benefits of the merger.

The blocking of the merger comes just a day after news that the health service in England faces a funding gap of £30bn between 2013 and 2021, even if the health budget is protected, with the Department of Health pointing out that in order to continue running a health service that is free at the point of use a new approach to the delivery of services is needed.

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