COMMERCIAL: A West Midlands trust has agreed a package of support for the financially troubled George Eliot Hospital Trust, months after its bid to take over the organisation was scuppered.
According to its July board papers, South Warwickshire Foundation Trust has “agreed a number of projects” to help George Eliot.
The offer comes just months after the NHS Trust Development Authority ditched a procurement aimed at finding a provider to take over the ailing organisation. South Warwickshire was the only NHS bidder left in the running when the process was abandoned in March.
Since then the two trusts’ executive teams have been exploring the benefit of taking forward proposals from South Warwickshire’s tender submission, the board papers revealed.
They said that George Eliot still faced “significant clinical and financial sustainability challenges” and its executive team were interested in South Warwickshire’s proposals.
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While some of the plans could be implemented without assistance, George Eliot “recognised that there are a number where [South Warwickshire] is the only organisation which could help them”.
The papers said: “As a consequence, we have agreed a number of projects where we will seek to work with them.”
The FT is not the only regional neighbour to help George Eliot.
University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust was “buddied” with the troubled trust when it was placed in special measures last year due to care quality concerns.
Although George Eliot left special measures last month, the arrangement has continued.
Jayne Blacklay, deputy chief executive of South Warwickshire, said the two trusts were “focused on looking at ways we can work together to improve cost effectiveness by delivering services more effectively”.
One of the areas on which they had agreed to collaborate was in their MRI service. “Both organisations currently require an increase and there is a possibility of sharing this resource,” she said.
Other projects were still subject to a “formal procurement process”, she added.
A spokeswoman for George Eliot said: “The trust can confirm that discussions are underway with regard to working collaboratively with South Warwickshire on a number of projects that will deliver positive benefits for both organisations.”
30 July 2014