West Mid Taken Over By Chelsea and Westminster

Merger will see mega-NHS trust covering population area of nearly half a million

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The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has cleared plans for the acquisition of West Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

The decision has been welcomed by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital’s Chief Executive Libby McManus,  who says: "This CMA ruling is great news for all of those at both trusts already working hard together to establish the potential for improving services for local people. It is good to hear an external regulator telling us we have a credible plan.

 "This is an important step in the process towards creating a bigger trust that is better equipped to meet the challenges of 21st century healthcare."

She claims that the move will improve the scope for research and development at the two hospitals.

libby MacManus

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital’s Chief Executive Libby McManus

West Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust Chief Executive Dame Jacqueline Docherty says: " It is really good news that the CMA ruling allows us to move on to the next stage of the merger of the two trusts.

" The focus now is on ensuring that this new organisation is well-placed to build on the strengths of both trusts, and that each hospital continues to deliver first-class care for their communities."

The assessment process examined whether the integration of the two trusts would lead to a "significant lessening of competition" or a reduction in access or choice of services for local people. The CMA contacted a range of organisations and individuals as part of their analysis.

It has confirmed that: "We do not believe that the merger will lead to a material reduction in the quality of services for patients (including clinical factors such as outcomes, infection rates and mortality rates, and non-clinical factors such as waiting times and patient experience) and will not materially reduce the hospitals’ incentives to innovate and improve their services."

The new, unified organisation is expected to come into being in July. The Chelsea and Westminster Trust Board will consider a full business case which will then be presented to health service regulator Monitor.

The NHS Trust Development Authority, the Chelsea and Westminster Trust Board and Council of Governors, and finally the Secretary of State for Health will all need to approve this acquisition.

The new trust will have around 5,000 staff and cover a potential population of nearly a million people.

February 13, 2015