Integration with St Helier Hospital
St George’s unable to proceed with St Helier merger
St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust submitted a bid for a potential merger with St Helier Hospital in November 2011.
The board is clear that a merger between St George’s Healthcare and St Helier would be an excellent strategic opportunity, with the potential to bring significant improvements to the care of patients across southwest London and beyond.
After careful consideration the board has reached the conclusion that the current terms of the merger prevent us from proceeding further at this time.
The level of financial challenge facing hospitals in south west London, combined with the inability to pre-empt the outcome of a public consultation around the Better Services Better Value (BSBV) review, means this is not the right time for us to progress with the transaction.
We want to continue to build on the existing links that are in place for clinical services. We have identified a number of the potential benefits to patients that would occur from an acquisition which could also be delivered if the organisations remained separate legal entities which we shall continue to pursue.
We are particularly keen to develop the clinical and academic networks that span St George’s Healthcare and St Helier, and explore opportunities to establish new networks across services, to the benefit of patients.
A key priority for the trust is to achieve Foundation Trust (FT) status by 2014, and we will focus our efforts on achieving this. The board feels strongly that achieving FT status will strengthen the opportunities for St. George’s Healthcare and St Helier to work together in the future.
In November 2011 St George’s Healthcare submitted a formal bid to merge with St Helier Hospital, including Sutton Hospital and Queen Mary’s Hospital for Children. The possible merger has the potential to secure high quality services and enhance specialist care for patients from across southwest London.
The special transaction board set up by NHS London to oversee the process is expected to announce whether or not our bid has been accepted by February 2012. If it has, we will enter a period of due diligence and our bid will then need to be approved by a number of other organisations, including the Department of Health, with the merger planned to take place in January 2013.
However, in deciding to submit a bid the trust board has been clear that any merger must be financially sustainable in the long-term and strengthen the prospects for St George’s Healthcare and its patients. If we are named as the preferred partner then there will be a further period of negotiation before any final decision is made.