STRUCTURE: George Eliot Hospital Trust’s preference for a franchise deal to secure its future has been described as “rather disappointing” by would-be suitor South Warwickshire Foundation Trust.

South Warwickshire chief executive Glen Burley told his board in June: “It was rather disappointing that the decision making team have indicated a preference to a franchise…  It is clear however that our proposal for an acquisition has not been rejected fully and the outline business case will allow the submission of a ‘variant bid’ including merger and acquisition proposals.”

The trust will “now need to decide whether it is appropriate to continue to commit resources to this exercise”.

It would be “concerning” if part of the local health economy had an uncertain future, Mr Burley said, and “I therefore hope that we can find a way of continuing to propose the creation of a Warwickshire integrated Foundation Trust by demonstrating the benefits of this solution and the stability that it would provide to health services across the county.”