Exclusive: Three-trust merger plan dropped

A merger of three trusts has been dropped because it would have created a trust spanning two sustainability and transformation partnership areas, along with concerns over clinical and financial viability, HSJ can reveal.

Birmingham Community Healthcare Foundation Trust, Black Country Partnership FT and Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership Trust have decided not to continue with plans to merge the three organisations.

In a statement to HSJ the trusts said their decision not to proceed was taken due to clinical concerns about the integration of services, the fact that the “financial plan” for the new organisation would not meet “transaction requirements”, and because the new organisation would have operated across two different health economies.

“Recent NHS planning guidance for 2018-19 has highlighted the strengthening role of sustainability and transformation partnerships in developing models of care appropriate to their geographical footprints, and the proposal would have operated across two (namely Birmingham & Solihull and the Black Country)”, the statement added.

However, BCPT and DWMHP said they would continue developing plans for a “Black Country-wide” approach to mental health and learning disability services.

The news comes during the procurement of an accountable care organisation contract in Dudley, for which the three trusts, along with Dudley Group FT and a consortium of GPs, were named preferred providers in August 2017.

Article from HSJ, 2 March 2018