STRUCTURE: Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Trust and Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre plan to use their proposed merger to create a “powerful, globally recognised brand”.

The integration of the neighbouring trusts is designed to create a more resilient organisation, with improved chances of achieving foundation status.

But board papers reveal the trust is also exploring opportunities for developing commercial potential from specialist services offered by the trusts which are “not widely available in the UK”.

These could include complex joint revision and treatment of chronic bone infection at the Nuffield, and the kidney, pancreas and bowel transplant service at Oxford Radcliffe.

A report to the board says: “These services as well as the proven quality of the more routine procedures provide a potential growth opportunity for us in the form of tertiary referrals, commercial income (e.g. contracts with [the Ministry of Defence] or insurance companies for assessment of patients post accidents), private patients and international patients.

“The integration offers the potential to develop a joint strategy around these growth opportunities, common marketing and creation of a powerful globally recognised brand.”

The board paper also identifies options for new income streams around consultation and training.

It reports that transition costs will be offset after 12 months of integration through a reduction in duplication. More savings will be made in the medium term through more flexible use of theatres and wards, while opportunities for income growth will start to emerge after three years.

Boards of the two trusts are due to sign off the business case for the proposal at the end of the month and it is hoped integration will be complete by the summer.