• Nottingham University Hospitals Trust merger with Sherwood Forest Foundation Trust delayed until 2017
  • Trusts had hoped to merge before “busy winter period” but “work required to create the merged organisation is taking longer than expected”
  • Sherwood Forest, which has been in special measures since 2013 and is forecasting a £57m deficit, has said it has no future as an independent organisation

STRUCTURE: The merger of Nottingham University Hospitals Trust and Sherwood Forest Foundation Trust has been delayed until 2017.

The trusts hoped to complete the transaction before winter but have found “the work required to create the merger organisation is taking longer than expected”.

Peter Homa

Peter Homa

Peter Homa said the trusts will use the delay to ‘maximise our preparedness and readiness for the merger’

Nottingham was named as the preferred organisation to take over Sherwood Forest in February, after the latter decided it had no future as an independent organisation.

Sherwood Forest has been in special measures since 2013 and is forecasting a £57m deficit this year.

In a statement on Thursday, Peter Homa, who became chief executive of both trusts in June, said the merger was now likely to happen in 2017.

“We remain committed to merging [Sherwood Forest and NUH] to form Nottinghamshire University Hospital Trust, knowing this is the right decision for patients, for staff and the Nottinghamshire health and social care system,” he said.

“We aimed to complete the merger before the busy winter period when our hospitals are most pressured.

“However, despite our best efforts and the hard work of very many colleagues, it has not been possible to do so, as some of the work required to create the merged organisation is taking longer than expected (including the legal aspects).

“While this delay means both organisations will remain statutorily independent for longer, we will continue the strengthened management arrangements at [Sherwood Forest] and use this period to maximise our preparedness and readiness for the merger in 2017.

Mr Homa added: “During this period of transition, we will further strengthen our joint working and where appropriate continue our work to integrate our services and functions, whilst ensuring each organisation gives proportionate attention to the immediate operational priorities.

“This includes [Sherwood Forest] sustaining and building on recent safety and quality improvements and [Nottingham] improving its four hour emergency access performance.

“Both trusts remain focused on improving their financial position and delivering their respective control totals… that were agreed for 2016-17.”