The board of Aintree University Hospital Foundation Trust has backed the recommendation of senior hospital consultants that it should pursue a merger with the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital Trust.
As revealed yesterday by HSJ, Aintree’s board considered the report of a “joint clinical advisory group” chaired by the medical directors of the two trusts, on strategic options for the organisations. The joint strategic options analysis backs a merger of the two trusts, as the best way to facilitate reconfiguration of services across their sites.
In a letter to staff sent after the meeting, Aintree chair Neil Goodwin and acting chief executive Steve Warburton confirmed the board accepted the recommendations.
It said: “Aintree’s board of directors met… to consider the joint strategic options appraisal and fully endorsed these recommendations to create a single organisation operating services from multiple sites. It is anticipated that the Board of the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals will be considering the recommendations at their November meeting.
“Following this, the next step would be for both trusts to have discussions with regulators and other stakeholders. Any business case for merger will need to consider a whole range of aspects of any change and its implications, such as the impact on patient services and whether it provides value for money. If work on this business case goes ahead, it would be expected to begin in early 2016 and take a few months to complete.”
According to the letter, the joint clinical advisory group recommended that the two trust boards:
- recognise “that the clinicians of both trusts have stated their firm belief that joint working is essential to improve patient outcomes and experience and to sustain clinical services in the local health economy”;
- acknowledge “that the joint strategic options appraisal clearly supports consolidation as a single trust (organisational merger) as the best way to deliver this”;
- put in train “business processes to deliver consolidation as a single trust (organisational merger) as soon as possible, subject to appropriate due diligence”; and
- start discussions “concerning the clinically led realignment of hospital-based services under the Healthy Liverpool programme as soon as possible after board agreement in principle to proceed to consolidation as a single trust”.