The provider arm of NHS Buckinghamshire is set to vertically integrate with Buckinghamshire Hospitals Trust.

The primary care trust’s board has chosen the acute trust as the “new corporate partner” of Community Health Buckinghamshire.

The decision follows a run-off between Buckinghamshire Hospitals Trust and Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Mental Health Foundation Trust.

Community staff are due to transfer to the acute trust, under TUPE regulations, from 1 April, subject to approval by the health secretary. The PCT said it will be holding a staff consultation on the transfer.

NHS Buckinghamshire chief executive Ed Macalister-Smith said: “We appreciate that the past year has been a difficult one for our staff as we have worked hard to find the right solution for Community Health Buckinghamshire.

“I would like to thank staff for their patience and continued commitment during this period and we will ensure continued dialogue with staff as we go through the merger process.”

Buckinghamshire Hospitals Trust chief executive Anne Eden said: “In particular this partnership will enable us to develop more proactive specialist treatment for patients in the community and help prevent unnecessary hospital admissions.”