Frequently asked questions

Below are a selection of some of our more frequent questions. You can also read and download a copy of our full frequently asked questions (FAQ) document.

If you have a question which isn’t answered below – please click here.

Q. When will you become one organisation?

A.
We plan to become one organisation in April 2020. The date is dependent on our regulator NHS England / Improvement (NHSE/I) approving these plans and part of their review will be about ensuring that we can come together safely on this proposed date. We are
committed to achieving this date, but if we feel more work needs to be done then the date may need to change. It is important that we are honest with you about this, and that we come together as one organisation in a safe way to ensure there is minimal disruption for
our service users, patients and staff.

Q. Do you see any potential barriers to the merger?

A. The work we are doing to become one organisation is being led by the people who know our services the best: our experienced and committed staff. We also know how important it is to listen to the people who use our services and our local communities to learn from their experiences, and understand where and how we can improve.

We operate in a complex health and care environment and are working hard to meet the needs of our partners in that system, whether that is across the West Midlands or in the Black country localities we serve.
We have talked about a potential partnership for a number of years and both organisations are committed to seeing this over the line because we know that this merger will benefit the people who use our services and the staff who work in our organisations.

Q. What will the name of the new organisation be?

A. This has not been decided yet. We are working on the process that we need to go through to choose a new name and will share this with you. There are quite strict guidelines about naming an NHS organisation in that the name has to have reference to the geographical area, has to describe what the trust does and it can’t be close to the name of another
organisation. It then has to be approved by NHS England.

We would like our new Chair to lead this process and it will involve asking people their opinions on a shortlist of potential names.

Q. Will there be any change to my current service?

A. If you are a service user or patient there will be no change to the current service you receive because of this merger. The focus for both organisations is to come together safely in April 2020 with minimal impact to you. Post merger, we will look to develop or transform our services where we feel improvements need to be made, and we will engage and involve people in this.

As separate organisations we continue to work to improve our services where this may be required, but if anything needs to change as a result of this, it will be discussed with you locally.

If you would like to know more about the merger we are happy to answer questions andreassure you, please get in touch.

Q. Will there be any job losses?

This merger will inevitably bring a lot of change and it is understandable that some of our staff will be concerned about job losses. At the moment there are no plans resulting in job losses and we will try our hardest to ensure that no one leaves through any structural changes as a result of this merger.

Every year we need to deliver savings through our cost improvement programme and these pressures are likely to continue into the future. As always we will aim to minimise the impact on our workforce, and the merger should provide improved opportunities for other savings such as our joint IT work, fully utilising and rationalising buildings across the Black Country, and sharing of organisational costs and contracts.

Q. Where will the head office be based?

A. Both organisations have leased headquarters (HQ) and we are likely to come together into a new HQ, located in the Black Country. In order for us to make an informed decision about what type of building we need, our Estates team are currently carrying out an information gathering exercise which will look at current contracts, how many staff are based in each current HQ, what teams may need to be co-located and more.

It will also be important to understand how our new HQ can support the new organisation’s workforce into the future, and we will think creatively about what the space needs to be and the experience of staff working there.

If you have a question about the merger please e-mail communications@ourmerger.org