STRUCTURE: Poole Hospital Foundation Trust and Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals Foundation Trust are to decide whether to pursue a formal merger at the end of November.

The trust have jointly appointed consultants McKinsey to support the joint working programme which is exploring the options for closer working and possible merger between the two organisations.

Minutes from a recent Poole board meeting record the joint working programme was “progressing well”. A number of workshops are planned to bring management and clinicians from both trusts together.

A report from chief executive Chris Brown at October’s meeting said a “decision on the preferred ‘direction of travel’ will be taken by both boards at the end of November 2011”.