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


Home > News > Acquisition gathers pace for North Cumbria hospitals

Acquisition gathers pace for North Cumbria hospitals

Posted on Tuesday 26th March 2013
cumberland infirmary flowers

The Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is continuing to move through the necessary regulatory process for the acquisition of North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust which is due to complete at the end of September for the new organisation to be in place on the 1st October 2013.

When the acquisition is complete, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust will operate with two divisions – the East division, denoting all care currently provided within Northumberland and North Tyneside and the West division, denoting all care provided within North Cumbria.

As the acquisition nears completion, staff across both trusts will increasingly work together on projects to integrate the organisation to become one unified NHS foundation trust, joining up both elements of clinical care and corporate support functions across Northumbria and North Cumbria.

Full integration plans are currently being developed to:

  • ensure the quality and safety of patient care from day one of the acquisition
  • ensure ongoing robust governance arrangements linked to the acquisition and to cover the new organisation
  • develop common ways of working across all sites to improve efficiency and operating costs
  • begin to build a common culture in preparation for the transfer of staff into one unified NHS foundation trust

Prior to acquisition, both organisations are working to formally join some clinical and corporate services areas together.

Post acquisition, further changes will also take place to ensure that the new organisation runs as efficiently as possible whilst providing the very best possible quality of care for patients. 

This will include a move to single corporate support functions that span both East division (Northumbria) and West division (North Cumbria) in the new organisation and the same structures for operational management and delivery of clinical care.

Discussions have been ongoing with staff side at both organisations throughout the acquisition process and any long-term structural changes will be subject to full consultation from October 2013.  Every effort will be made to minimise the need for any staffing reductions and at no point will frontline patient care be impacted.

Jim Mackey, Chief Executive of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said:  “As we integrate our two organisations into one, our absolute focus will be on ensuring we are able to deliver excellent patient care which is safe and of the highest possible quality at all times. 

“I want all of our hospitals, in the East and West divisions of our new organisation, to operate to the very same high standards of compassionate healthcare and we have been working very closely with colleagues in North Cumbria to begin this journey together and really raise the bar on quality. 

“Our integration plans will enable our new organisation to streamline pathways of care for patients and will also generate significant efficiencies by reducing duplication and allowing us to reinvest in frontline patient care.”

Ann Farrar, Interim Chief Executive at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust said: “It is certainly no secret that North Cumbria has faced many challenges over recent years, with higher than expected mortality rates and significant financial constraints, all of which have been widely reported.  This has without doubt impacted on the morale of our workforce who give their hearts and souls every single day to care for patients.  

“We are now, however, at the start of a very long and important journey of improvement, thanks to the acquisition by Northumbria Healthcare, and are absolutely committed to making lasting, positive changes to ensure we can provide high quality care to the communities we serve in North Cumbria .”