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09 February 2017

Weston Area Health Trust and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust agree formal partnership arrangement

The Boards of Weston Area Health NHS Trust and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust have agreed to establish a formal partnership arrangement, increasing the level of joint working between the two Trusts.

This new collaboration is being created as part of the NHS vision of developing networks between smaller and larger Trusts and reflects the ongoing North Somerset Sustainability programme to build a strong future for Weston General Hospital.

Building on long-standing, positive working relationships which give local people access to a range of services delivered or supported by Bristol and Weston clinicians, the two Trust Boards have agreed to:

  • Draw-up a formal partnership agreement, describing how the partnership will help address long-standing issues of clinical and financial sustainability at Weston General Hospital
  • Develop a joint service strategy, setting out proposed areas for co-operation, which could include a greater range of shared clinical and management services
  • Establish a joint management board to oversee delivery of this work.

Work establishing the full parameters of the new collaboration will start by April 2017. 

James Rimmer, Chief Executive of Weston Area Health NHS Trust, said:

"Our existing informal partnership will be taken to a whole new level by this agreement with University Hospitals Bristol in a very constructive way.

"I'm certain that being part of a hospital chain with the Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and their allied specialist hospitals is the way to secure a positive, long-term future for Weston General Hospital and community services for the ultimate benefit of our staff and the community we serve."

Robert Woolley, Chief Executive of University Hospitals Bristol (UH Bristol) who also leads the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) for Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, said:

"I believe that Weston General Hospital has a vital and distinct role to play now and in the future, in meeting the healthcare needs of the people of North Somerset.

"The STP is looking at how health and care services will work in partnership to meet the health needs of local people at a time of increasing demand and constrained resources.

"This agreement between Weston and UH Bristol is an important first step towards the vision set out in the local STP of a more integrated provider landscape across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire."