1. We will retain a vibrant district general hospital in Burton including our A&E.

For Queen’s Hospital in Burton, our fundamental principle is that we will retain a vibrant district general hospital in the town, keeping and improving the core services we offer as part of that, including our A&E. With just one or two exceptions, our plans do not involve services moving.

  1. We will sustain and develop existing specialised services in Derby.

We will have access to a wider population base, enabling us to sustain and extend specialist services, such as cancer surgery and spinal services, with clear benefits to local people across Derbyshire and Staffordshire.

  1. We will introduce services in our community hospitals at Lichfield and Tamworth that recognise the changing needs of the two populations.

There will be an opportunity for our community hospitals facilities to offer some different services that are more relevant locally. These services would be heavily aligned with the local GPs and will offer more diagnostic work and specialist outpatients, as well as potentially more day case procedures (including specialist clinics such as spine, from Derby consultants) and more locally-focused end of life care.

  1. We will retain patient choice

Patient choice is at the heart of the NHS and patients will continue to be able to choose whether they access services at Burton or Derby. Indeed, patients will have more choice in the future as our community hospitals will be offering some different services that are more relevant locally. These services will result in us working more closely than ever with our local GPs.

  1. We will only make changes that will improve services and there are no plans to privatise them or make wholesale staff redundancies.

Our key aims are to improve the quality of the services we offer patients, and to improve the health of our local populations by dealing effectively with the challenges we face on a daily basis. Patients and the public can be assured that the proposed merger is not about privatisation at all and we have no plans to privatise services or make wholesale staff redundancies.

We have reached a significant milestone in our journey to delivering outstanding health care for our patients in Derbyshire and Staffordshire and we have been developing our plans for the proposed merger in partnership with our governors, staff and the local populations we serve.

Both Trusts are facing a number of challenges relating to staff, sustainability of some clinical services and finances. A closer collaboration would help to retain a vibrant district general hospital in Burton, secure specialist services in Derby for a wider population, and ensure appropriate and relevant use of our community hospitals facilities.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has found that the merger is expected to result in substantial patient benefits, and they were very clear that the compelling clinical case outweighed any concerns that they might have with regard to competition.

NHS improvement’s Provider Regulatory Committee (PRC) met on 16 March 2018 to consider the Full Business Case for the merger. While they reiterated their strong support for the patient benefits and the strategic rationale they believe that further work needs to be done to ensure the revised financial plan will be delivered. Naturally, we had hoped to be able to form the new organisation with effect from 1 April and this is not what we had hoped to hear. But it did allow us time to do this further work which will give greater assurance to our regulators as well as our Boards and Councils of Governors.

We are now taking take further steps to reduce financial risks in both organisations. We will review the efficiencies identified for the next four years and provide more detail on Cost Improvement Plans for this year. We are also developing a plan to improve financial governance for the merged Trusts. We will then submit assurances to NHS Improvement, aiming for a new merger date of 1st July 2018.

The story so far

Watch our latest video and find out more about our journey to outstanding care.

Like much of the NHS across the country, both Hospital Trusts are facing a number of challenges relating to finance, staff and increasing demand for our services.

Despite the passion, commitment and hard work of our staff, these challenges cannot be solved in isolation and we want to look for a solution that will improve what we can offer patients locally and enable us to operate on a firmer footing in the years to come.

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