STRUCTURE: Two NHS trusts have merged to create an ‘integrated care organisation’ in Devon.

South Devon Healthcare Foundation Trust, which runs Torbay Hospital, acquired community provider Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care Trust yesterday.

South Devon

The new organisation will provide acute, community and social care services in the region

The new organisation, named Torbay and South Devon Foundation Trust, brings together 6,000 staff and will jointly provide acute, community and social care services.

The merger was first mooted in 2012 when Torbay decided it would not be able to achieve foundation status as a standalone organisation and so needed to find a partner.

It is hoped the new trust will provide a better service for patients by removing organisational barriers and delivering more services in the community.

Mairead McAlinden, Torbay and South Devon’s chief executive, said the trust would use its £350m budget “in a way that is more responsive and innovative”.

“It will allow us to be more flexible about where services are provided and to increase the range of care provided in and by local communities,” she added.

Monitor approved the acquisition, but has also asked the trust to “continue to make improvements” in management of patient flow and to “strengthen its plans to integrate care”.

Miranda Carter, Monitor’s provider appraisal director, said: “This is a good example of the kind of innovative change that will help trusts to improve care for patients, while also offering better value for money services and meeting the challenges faced by the NHS.

“Now that we have approved this acquisition we expect the trust to press ahead with plans and ensure services integrate smoothly for patients and staff.”