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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS


Home > News > Moving forward on our acquisition process

Moving forward on our acquisition process

Posted on Thursday 18th August 2011

Dr Neil Goodwin CBE

A new website area to inform the public about the acquisition process at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust will be launched on Monday.

The information will be available on North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust website – and will be found under the About Us section and is also linked from the front page.

The Trust is already engaged with many of its stakeholders who are taking part in the process and are involved in the External Stakeholder Group which is chaired by the strategic health authority – NHS North West. The stakeholders include Cumbria LINk, the Overview and Scrutiny Committee of Cumbria County Council, NHS Cumbria as the main commissioner of hospital services, hospital clinicians and local GPs.

The Trust Board decided in February 2011 that although our services are performing extremely well clinically and have delivered over £33 million of efficiencies in the last three years, we would need to join with an existing NHS Foundation Trust to ensure they are clinically sustainable and financially viable in the future for the patients of north Cumbria.

The Trust formally launched its search for a partner by inviting interested NHS Foundation Trusts to bid to acquire it. The neighbouring NHS Foundation Trusts which have expressed an interest in the transaction are:

• The University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust
• Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
• ‘A partnership with Newcastle in Cumbria’ which is an alliance between Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

These FTs have been approached to provide financial and non-financial information and this will be assessed as part of Phase 1 of the acquisition process.

The process is designed to:

• Be fair, transparent and competitive allowing equal access and consideration for all respective partners
• Consider two key areas: financial and non-financial. The non-financial evaluation is based on eight strategic aims developed through a series of workshops which involved some 40 leading clinicians and operational managers from the Trust and primary care
• Involve our commissioners through NHS Cumbria

Chief Executive Neil Goodwin CBE said: “We are pleased to have received these responses from a number of organisations The reason we are seeking acquisition is so that north Cumbria’s patients can continue to access high-quality, appropriate health services close to home.

“Our size means our income will not cover our costs in future years and the gap is too large to close with efficiency savings alone. Joining a larger organisation will enable us to achieve economies of scale, saving money that can instead be spent on patient care and ensure the delivery of specialist services across north Cumbria.”

“It is important to stress that we are running an open, fair and transparent process and that there should be no confusion about this. All trusts expressing an interest in the acquisition will be talking to their stakeholders in the community however this is not related to the detailed evaluation which is being undertaken by our Trust Board.”

We are planning a stakeholder event in October where stakeholder representatives will have an opportunity to hear the three proposals and ask the Foundation Trusts questions. The Board expects to make a decision in November on those organisations which will be invited a second stage of the process which will conclude with the selection of a preferred partner by April 2012. The decision will take into consideration feedback from the External Stakeholder Group.