April update

As we begin the new financial year, we’d like to update you on the plans for the merger of our two trusts. Back in January, we submitted our Strategic Outline Case to NHS Improvement (NHSi) who are currently reviewing our proposals.

This process began almost immediately, with NHSi speaking to our stakeholders, including commissioners, to gain their views on our plans. Alongside this, they looked at the strategic, financial and clinical benefits in more detail, which culminated in a meeting between senior leaders from both trusts and NHSi at the end of February.

During this ‘board-to-board’ session, our medical directors presented the reasons for the merger, focusing on the benefits our plans will bring for staff, service users, stakeholders and our wider communities. Whilst there were some challenging questions throughout the discussion, overall it was positive and we received encouraging feedback.

Over the next few months we will focus on developing the full business case, which will describe how we will come together as one organisation in more detail. Central to this will be a programme of engagement, where we will ensure that we capture the views of a range of audiences.

We have also appointed a programme director for the merger. Jo Cadman will be leading the development of the full business case and integration plans. Jo will lead us through the integration process ensuring good engagement, clinical leadership and a safe landing.

Following approval from the Boards of both trusts, the full business case will be submitted to NHSi in the autumn. This is with the aim of successfully coming together as one organisation, subject to regulatory approval, during 2020.