Representing estates and facilities professionals operating within the  
 
 

News

 
27
Feb

Hospital merger referred for in-depth enquiry


The Competition and Markets Authority, CMA, has referred a proposed merger of two hospital Trusts in Surrey for an in-depth investigation to assess whether it would be in patients' interests. The CMA found that the merger could adversely affect patients by reducing choice and competition across a range of elective specialties.


Ashford and St Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust provide clinical services from their sites in Ashford, Chertsey and Guildford. Ashford and St Peter's has a total of 570 beds and Royal Surrey County Hospital has 520 beds. The ability of patients and commissioning bodies to choose between hospitals gives healthcare providers incentives to improve the quality of their services for the benefit of patients. The CMA's role is to examine the impact that the merger could have on patient choice and the quality of healthcare services provided.


The CMA undertakes an evidence-based assessment of the effects of NHS mergers on competition and aims to ensure that such mergers do not result in lower levels of quality of healthcare services for patients. The CMA has found that in several elective specialty services (six inpatient and seven outpatient markets) the merger could significantly reduce quality for patients by removing the incentives that currently exist for the Trusts to attract patient referrals from each other. These specialties are high volume activities, which, collectively, affect tens of thousands of patients each year.

 

Monitor has provided advice to the CMA on the relevant customer benefits which could result from the merger. It advised that the merger was likely to give rise to benefits in relation to rota reconfigurations to allow for 7-day working in three specialty areas (stroke, interventional radiology and gastroenterology) and these reconfigurations would result in improved emergency care and quicker discharge for more than a thousand patients. However, on the basis of the available evidence the CMA in its initial view has not found that these benefits outweighed its concerns relating to the potential loss of competition. Consequently, it has decided that a fuller investigation into whether the merger would be against patients' interests is required.

 

The Competition and Markets Authority, CMA, has referred a proposed merger of two hospital Trusts in Surrey for an in-depth investigation to assess whether it would be in patients' interests. The CMA found that the merger could adversely affect patients by reducing choice and competition across a range of elective specialties.

Comments

Commenting on a news story is only available to logged in members.

Archive