STRUCTURE: Oxford Radcliffe NHS Trust has merged with Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre to form Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust.

The merger, which was originally mooted for July 1 2011, was eventually completed on November 1.

Sir Jonathan Michael, chief executive of the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “The main purpose of the merger is to deliver better patient care.  By integrating our trusts we will be better placed to improve care pathways and ensure patients receive access to the best treatments available.  We already have strong research partnerships and integration will strengthen the links between academic research, teaching and training, and clinical service delivery.”

Jan Fowler, chief executive of the former Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre NHS Trust said: “We are confident that operating as a single organisation will deliver the best in clinical treatment for our current and future patients.”

The integrated trust will run the county’s four teaching hospitals: the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre; Horton General; John Radcliffe; and Churchill hospital. Each will retain its current name.

A joint working agreement with the University of Oxford formally came into effect with the merger. The agreement was described as a “strategic alliance supporting a health sciences partnership that will integrate patient care, teaching and medical research to deliver the best in clinical treatment.