Intended for healthcare professionals


Competition rules over merger has cost NHS £1.8m, BMJ probe shows

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 15 October 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f6246
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. 1BMJ

The lengthy battle over the proposed merger of two hospital foundation trusts in England has cost the NHS almost £2m (€2.4m; $3.2m) in legal and consultancy fees, a BMJ investigation has shown.

Plans to merge the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, first proposed in 2011, were provisionally blocked by the Competition Commission in July, with a final ruling due by 21 October.

The trusts said that the plans were essential to ensure the sustainability of services in the area, but the commission provisionally ruled that the move would reduce patients’ choice. The plan has been opposed by BMI Healthcare,1 which runs a private hospital in Poole.

In response to a request from the BMJ made under freedom of information legislation, the two …

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