Two of the bidders to take over the management of a district general hospital trust have announced a partnership deal.
Outsourcing firm Serco and South Warwickshire Foundation Trust have both previously expressed interest in running George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton.
But on Tuesday they announced they would be working together in an “innovation partnership”.
The alliance does not mean the partners will enter a joint bid, although this has not been ruled out. If they submit separate bids and one is successful, the winner is likely to draw on the partner’s expertise.
A joint statement said South Warwickshire and Serco would work together to improve patient care “across the region”. Serco and South Warwickshire said one example of an area where they could work together was on patients with long-term conditions.
George Eliot is waiting to hear from the Department of Health whether it would allow a private franchise management team to take over the running of the trust.
Interest has already been expressed by Care UK, Serco and Circle. The foundation trusts in the running to take over George Eliot are South Warwickshire, Burton Hospitals, and the Dudley Group of Hospitals.