NHS trio keen on hospital partnership deal

PUBLISHED: 08:03 25 June 2014

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THREE NHS trusts have expressed interest in helping run Weston General Hospital.

Earlier this month, Weston Area Health NHS Trust (WAHT) chief executive Nick Wood gave an exclusive interview to the Mercury and said no private companies would be allowed to help run its management – something campaigners said was a ‘victory for common sense’.

The move opened the door for fellow NHS trusts to come forward and present a plan which will secure the long-term future of Weston’s hospital.

This week three foundation trusts expressed interest: University Hospitals Bristol, Taunton and Musgrove Park and Bridgwater-based Somerset Partnership.

A partnership is required for Weston General Hospital to survive because WAHT is not large enough to meet new regulations from the Department of Health.

Mr Wood said: “We are delighted these trusts have come forward. This is testament to Weston’s growing reputation as a trust able to deliver high quality clinical and personalised patient care and we welcome the opportunity to become part of any one of them.

“There are another two stages to go in the process. All three trusts will have to submit formal tenders to us by the middle of August and we’ll be working with all three to give them any extra information they may need to assist them in doing that.

“Then using the strict criteria we’ve laid down in the business case for Weston, we’ll carefully evaluate each application and announce the successful trust in October.”

Although the three NHS trusts have until August to offer a formal bid, the application process is closed to any further applicants.

WAHT said from the outset it would not consider bids from NHS trusts that are located more than 50 miles away.

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