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Regulator to look again at rejected Southwest merger

Will trust merger get a better reception this time around?

A merger turned down in 2013 is going back to the regulator, according to NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

In 2013 the Competition Commission (since replaced by the Competitions and Markets Authority) turned down a proposal to merge the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals Foundation Trust with Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

The CCG’s clinical services review has been running since March 2014 and the recommendations were that the Royal Bournemouth Hospital should be the major emergency hospital and that planned procedures should take place at Poole Hospital.

The plans were accepted by the CCG’s governing body last week and the next step is to ask the Competition and Markets Authority to examine the merger. If the regulator gives the green light, the changes could happen within the next 18 months.

The CCG was quick to offer reassurance that services would be accessible from all parts of Dorset and West Hampshire and that urgent care would be available 24/7 from all three acute hospitals.

The review also included a new maternity unit at Bournemouth, more community beds and better services for people with a mental health crisis.

The CCG also promised an investment of £150m.

Further information

NHS Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group: Governing body meeting: clinical services review: commissioning decisions

Wellards: Three Northern STPs in merger talks

Wellards: Competition Authority clears Birmingham mega merger