STRUCTURE: The Co-operation and Competition Panel (CCP) has started work on assessing the proposed integration of Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals and the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre.

The CCP visited the trusts in January and has completed the first phase of its work. The second phase is due for completion in June.

Discussions have also been held between the two trusts, NHS South Central and members of the transactions panel at the Department of Health to clarify requirements and a timetable for the merger.

A report to the trust’s board on 28 February stated: “The intention remains to seek integration from 1 July 2011 and plans are currently on target to achieve this.”

The strategic health authority will consider the business case at its meeting on 31 March 2011.

The trusts hope the integration will help them achieve foundation trust status.