Merger of Weston and Bristol hospitals creates new NHS trust

Surgeon commander Richard Bateman and chief executive Robert Woolley. Picture UHBW

Surgeon commander Richard Bateman and chief executive Robert Woolley. Picture UHBW - Credit: Archant

Two NHS hospital trusts merged yesterday (Wednesday).

University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust and Weston Area Health NHS Trust formally merged to become University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW).

The new trust boasts a workforce of more than 13,000 staff and aims to deliver ‘exceptional services for local people and specialist services across the South West and beyond’.

UHBW will serve a core population of more than half a million people.

The merger was first mooted in January 2018, three years after Weston Area Health Trust failed to merge with Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust as it was not deemed to be make sense financially or clinically.

Commenting on the final milestone in the merger process, Robert Woolley, chief executive of UHBW, said: “This is a momentous occasion in the history of two proud hospital trusts and one that would not have been possible without the support of our dedicated workforce in Weston and in Bristol.

“I am immensely grateful for their hard work to help us achieve this merger but particularly for everything they are doing for our patients at this unprecedented time.

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“Uniting the trusts increases our diversity, capacity and resilience, and provides a unique opportunity to bring together the things that make both the Weston and Bristol hospitals great places to work and to receive care, in order to create an even better and stronger organisation for the future.

“It’s important to reassure our service users that, while the name of the trust may have changed, they will continue to receive care from the same staff in the same location that they do now.”

The names of our component hospitals, including Weston General Hospital and the Bristol Royal Infirmary, will remain unchanged.

UHBW said a better experience will be available for patients, ensuring people from North Somerset and its surrounding areas can be seen and treated in their local hospital, and improving access to specialist services in both Bristol and Weston through better use of an expanded workforce and facilities.

For more information about the merger, click here.