STRUCTURE: Two leading London trusts are exploring the possibility of joint working within the field of paediatrics.

As discussions between Royal Brompton and Harefield Foundation Trust and Chelsea and Westminster Foundation Trust are at an early stage, it is not yet clear whether this joint-working arrangement would involve a merger of paediatric departments. The two trusts already share clinicians.

In 2012 the Royal Brompton lost a judicial review to keep it from losing its paediatric cardiac surgery work. However, an independent review found that the plan to reduce the number of specialist centres was based on “flawed analysis” and it was suspended.

A spokeswoman for Chelsea and Westminster Foundation Trust said: “An excellent working relationship already exists between our paediatric teams and clinical staff already work across both sites.

“As part of this, we have been in discussions with Royal Brompton and Harefield Foundation Trust about potential opportunities to work closer together in delivering children’s services.”

She added: “Should these plans progress, the ultimate aim is to provide improved, more integrated care, in the right setting, for children in London and the South East.”

At a recent Royal Brompton board meeting it was noted that an outline business case for the joint working would be considered at the next meeting.