A struggling West Midlands trust intends to go out to procurement for a partner to help fund a major reconfiguration of its acute services.
Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust plans to finance its hospital reconfiguration, which would mean emergency care and planned care split across two sites, by creating a partnership with a public or private organisation.
The trust’s operational plan, published on 30 March, said: “In recognition of restrictions over the availability of national capital funding, the trust has been reviewing opportunities to secure alternative methods for securing finance.
“Discussions are presently being taking place to determine the attractiveness of engaging in a public/private sector partnership.”
The document added that assuming there is board support and approval from NHS Improvement, the trust will look to go out to procurement for a “strategic asset partner”, which would be in place by December.
The trust had planned to start the procurement process in April, but HSJ understands it has not yet launched this process.
The Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin sustainability and transformation plan, published last December, estimated that the trust would need £311m in capital funds for the reconfiguration and to address its estates backlog.
The plan said the trust would be looking in to the possibility of “joint venture partnership arrangements with private partners” to secure capital.
“Such an approach offers the potential to share capital responsibilities and in doing so offers a potential solution (in full or part) to the issue of capital financing. Pursuance of such an approach, however, is likely to be dependent upon the legal ability of the trust to enter into such an arrangement. Accordingly, the trust is presently sourcing legal opinion,” the plan said.
A trust spokesman said: “As mentioned in the papers, discussions on this matter are ongoing and any business case would be subject to approval by NHS Improvement, therefore it is too soon to talk about this in any detail.”
Trust plan, STP and information provided to HSJ