• Cambridgeshire trusts confirm they will draw up full business case to merge by next April
  • Full business case will be considered by both boards in September
  • The move follows outline business case in May

STRUCTURE: Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals Foundation Trust and Hinchingbrooke Health Care Trust have confirmed they will develop a full business case recommending the two trusts merge by next April.

The full business case follows approval of the outline business case in May, which recommended a merger as the best of four options presented to the trust boards.

Hinchingbrooke

Hinchingbrooke

Hinchingbrooke could merge with the Peterborough trust by April next year

If the recommendation for merger is accepted by both boards in September, the trusts will develop an implementation plan by November. If supported by the boards and regulators, the merger will go through on 1 April 2017, a joint statement by the trusts said.

The announcement was made on 21 July, coincidentally the same day it emerged the NHS’s East of England commercial advisory unit the Strategic Projects Team was to be closed.

The team was established in 2009 to advise on the franchising of Hinchingbrooke, and has since been involved with other controversial projects.

The experiment ultimately ended when Circle, the franchise holder, pulled out of a 10 year deal after just three years and the trust was left in special measures and with a substantial deficit.

The trust chief executives, Lance McCarthy of Hinchingbrooke and Stephen Graves of Peterborough and Stamford, said: “This work supports the future delivery of sustainable services from all three hospitals, working together as one foundation trust that is clinically, financially and organisationally stronger.

“We are now working together to develop the full business case that will confirm savings and costs, set out in-depth details of how the proposed merger will be implemented, and how it will benefit patients and taxpayers by reducing the duplication of corporate and back-office costs.

“During the next three months we are engaging with members of the public to inform them of our proposed plans to merge, reassure them of our commitment to providing a local service, and to ask for their views to help inform the full business case.

“We particularly want to know what people think about creating local constituencies and governors who will separately represent the three areas surrounding Hinchingbrooke, Peterborough and Stamford hospitals. We also want to hear what people think we should call the proposed new organisation.”