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

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Home > News > Funding for acquisition agreed in principle

Funding for acquisition agreed in principle

Posted on Friday 24th February 2012
West Cumberland Hospital

West Cumberland Hospital, Whitehaven

Health chiefs have agreed in principle to meet the proposed transitional funding arrangements for the acquisition of North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Senior representatives from the Strategic Health Authority for the North of England; the Clinical Commissioners (GPs) for Cumbria; NHS Cumbria; North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust and its recommended bidder – Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust – met yesterday to agree the level of additional funding that will be required to support the acquisition.

Whilst the final sum is being established, all parties have agreed that the level of additional funding represents good value for money particularly as it is required for only two years. After 2013/14, the newly created organisation will be self-sufficient and financially stable which is an important element of the acquisition process. One big advantage of the bid is that it is based on sources of funding across a mix of strategic SHA funds and revenue support from local commissioners.

Before the financial arrangements are finally agreed, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust will carry out a process called due diligence which involves looking at all the assets of the business and organisation at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust. This is expected to take around two months.

Following this, the acquisition will be considered by the Co-operation and Competition Panel (CCP) and Monitor, the regulator of Foundation Trusts. It is expected that North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust would be dissolved and the new organisation in place before the end of this calendar year.

Dr Neil Goodwin, Interim Chief Executive of North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “The agreement in principle to the transitional funding is a significant step forward in our acquisition and is good news for our staff, our patients and for the people of North Cumbria.

“However, the financial aspects of this transition were not the only consideration.

“The overall objective of our acquisition has been to find the best solution for the people living in north Cumbria and to identify the Foundation Trust which could best deliver high quality acute services for a rural population from the two acute hospitals – the Cumberland Infirmary and West Cumberland Hospital.

“Northumbria has identified opportunities for service and organisational development which includes the provision of more local services providing local access for our patients. It also involves sharing clinical expertise and therefore, has the potential to represent a true partnership which benefits patients across both counties.”

“It is also important to stress that the acquisition and the proposals put forward have not been about choosing a new model for hospitals services in north Cumbria. The bids were assessed based on what they delivered putting access, quality, clinical sustainability and financial viability at the heart of the evaluation and selection of the preferred bid.”

Jim Mackey, Chief Executive of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The agreement in principle to the transitional funding is the next stage in the acquisition process. We will draw on our experience of delivering high quality services in rural areas and our strong financial track record to move this forward over the coming months.”