STRUCTURE: Central Manchester University Hospitals Foundation Trust’s proposed takeover of Trafford Healthcare Trust would give it a market share of more than a fifth of all admissions in Greater Manchester, it has told the NHS’s competition watchdog.

The foundation trust’s submission to the Co-Operation and Competition Panel on the proposed merger states: “The acquisition would reduce the number of acute NHS provider organisations in Greater Manchester from 10 to nine.

“Trafford Healthcare Trust is (by some margin) the smallest acute provider in Greater Manchester, accounting for only 2.7 per cent of all admissions, and 3.7 per cent of elective admissions across the conurbation. CMFT has an existing market share of 16.5 per cent of all admissions, and 18.1 per cent of elective admissions. The combined entity would account for 21.8 per cent of all admissions and 19.2 per cent of elective admissions.”

It adds that it “is expected that, following the acquisition, the Commissioners in conjunction with CMFT will pursue some reconfiguration of services”.

“Many of the services currently provided by Trafford Healthcare Trust are comparatively small, and it is likely that for some of these it would be difficult to maintain a safe and effective clinical service across all current sites in the longer term,” it continues.

“For these clinical teams the acquisition will provide the potential for integration into a larger service, and this should offer the potential to ensure the provision of safe and sustainable clinical care in the longer term, accessible in as many locations as possible.

“Any reconfiguration of services is likely to require public consultation, and it is probable that this will be commenced in summer 2012.”

The CCP aims to complete the first phase of its investigation by 15 February 2012.