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Hospital merger is blocked because of failure to prove patient benefits

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f6326 (Published 18 October 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f6326
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1BMJ

The first proposed merger of two hospitals in England since new rules on competition came into force under the Health and Social Care Act last year has been blocked on the grounds that it would not benefit patients.

The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust have been working on proposals to merge since November 2011, saying that changes to services were essential to ensure their future sustainability.

In a statement the trusts said that they were “deeply disappointed” by the Competition Commission’s decision to prevent the merger, a move they described as “fundamentally wrong.”

Last week the BMJ revealed that the trusts had spent £1.8m (€2.4m; $3.2m) on legal and consultancy fees related to the merger.1 Securing further efficiency savings would now be more …

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