STRUCTURE: University Hospitals Bristol and North Bristol Trust have set up a partnership board to take forward plans to work more closely together.

The two organisations agreed to set up a formal partnership in November. The new board will include the chairmen, chief executives and two non-executive directors from each board as well as the chief nurse and director of strategic development from UHBFT and the medical director and director of organisation, people and performance from NBT.

In the short term the partnership between the two trusts will see back office functions merged, the creation of a single acute services provider strategy, and the development of a single workforce plan for high risk (constrained) specialities and services that includes shared rotas, staff rotation or single workforce teams.

Long term this could involve a single bed management strategy across the two trusts and the possible creation of a special purpose vehicle to enable the joint ownership of estate where this is strategically or operationally desirable.