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

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Home > News > Trust Board recommends a preferred bid

Trust Board recommends a preferred bid

Posted on Wednesday 1st February 2012
trust board recommendation

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust has decided that its preferred bid in its acquisition process is from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

NHS North of England (the strategic health authority), local health commissioners, Northumbria Healthcare and the Trust will now begin detailed negotiations around the financial arrangements surrounding the acquisition and this is likely to take a few weeks.

Following this there will be further assessments by NHS regulators, which will culminate in a final recommendation to the Secretary of State later this year.

The Trust Board reserves the right to seek other options if these negotiations are not successful in order to secure the future of acute hospital healthcare for the people of north Cumbria. 

The Board of North Cumbria Hospitals NHS Trust NHS Trust made its decision after considering a detailed evaluation of the financial and non-financial proposals and responses to supplementary financial questions from two interested Foundation Trusts – Northumbria and the Alliance, a partnership between Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The Trust Board’s decision for a recommended bid also took into account the views of panels of patients, the public, hospital clinicians and staff, GPs and other key groups set up to give local people a voice in the selection process.

The meeting was not about choosing a new model for how care should be provided in north Cumbria in future. Board members assessed the bidders on how their proposals will provide the best solution for the population of north Cumbria focusing on the delivery of high quality care and financial sustainability and for the existing North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Mike Little, Chair of North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We were very pleased with the way both organisations have engaged in the process and by their enthusiasm, professionalism and commitment to this opportunity.

“Our evaluation started in June 2011 and has been a lengthy, detailed and competitive process.

“We are optimistic about the negotiation process which starts from today between the strategic health authority, local commissioners, our Trust and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

“We hope these negotiations will be successful to enable the Trust to start the regulatory approvals process for our acquisition.

“It is really important to stress that while this process is underway, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust Board will continue to manage the hospitals in north Cumbria and it will be very much business as usual.

“Delivering high-quality and safe care for the patients of north Cumbria will remain our number one priority.”

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust announced in February 2011 that it was seeking to become part of a larger organisation because, although it provides quality clinical care, it is too small to remain financially viable as a standalone trust. 

Becoming part of a larger organisation will deliver economies of scale and enable the local NHS to deliver improvements while, at the same time, making larger efficiency savings.