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30 July 2012

Joint statement from North Bristol NHS Trust and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust

Joint statement issued by:
Marie-Noelle Orzel, Chief Executive, North Bristol NHS Trust
Robert Woolley, Chief Executive, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust 

North Bristol NHS Trust (NBT) and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UH Bristol) have agreed to establish a joint project to take forward detailed planning for the potential integration of both organisations and the establishment of a new single foundation trust with its own identity and vision. 

It was approved by NBT's board at their meeting on Thursday 26 July, endorsed by the Membership Council and approved by the board of University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust on Monday 30 July. 

UH Bristol and NBT have considered the clinical and financial benefits of bringing together both organisations and believe that integration could achieve the following benefits for patients, staff and the wider Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire areas: 

a.    Improvements in healthcare by simplifying the way patients are treated when using the services of both organisations
b.    Ease of implementing service changes between organisations 
c.    Helping Bristol fulfil its academic potential as a major research and teaching centre of excellence
d.    Identifying areas of duplication in the combined workforce that could provide opportunities to reduce waste and improve efficiency savings 

Detailed work will now take place to assess these benefits and prepare business cases for the two Trust boards' consideration in early 2013.  Subject to those business cases, their subsequent approval by the two Trust boards and the necessary regulatory and other approvals, integration of the Trust could happen by the end of 2013. 

Both Trusts' Medical Directors and Nursing Directors have played a major part in the review by working with clinicians across both hospitals and community teams, to assess the opportunities to deliver effective and sustainable healthcare services.  In addition, the Finance Directors have worked closely together, to assess the clinical and financial benefits. 

This decision supports those plans already in development between the two organisations through the existing partnership agreement, including the planned centralisation of Head & Neck services and Specialist Paediatrics at UH Bristol and of Pathology Services in the Severn area, Urology and Breast Care Services at NBT. The planned building projects across the city including the new hospital at Southmead, the Frenchay Health and Social Care Centre, the redevelopment of the Bristol Royal Infirmary, the extension to the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and Cossham Hospital will continue.

The Bristol Acute Services Review was overseen by a project group made up of the chairs and chief executives of NBT, UH Bristol, NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Primary Care Trust Cluster, the lead for the South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and the Project Director, Andrea Young (Director, NHS South of England).  The group was chaired by Professor Steve West (Vice-Chancellor, UWE).