STRUCTURE: The foundation trust is reviewing its clinical services with East Cheshire Trust to identify specialties that could be provided jointly across the two acute providers.

Breast surgery and Urology will be the first services considered for provision under the “collaborative agreement”, according to an East Cheshire board report.

“The trust is working in partnership with Stockport NHS Foundation Trust to review clinical and non clinical services at both trusts and identify services that would be better provided collaboratively across the two organisations,” the report states.

“This formal arrangement is known as a Healthcare Group. The rationale for the provision of collaboratively provided services will be to increase quality and productivity and to secure the future viability of clinical and corporate services.”

It adds: “Other potential service areas for service alignment will be identified and implemented during 2012/13.”