New name announced for merging NHS trusts

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

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

A new name has been announced for two merging NHS trusts.

University Hospitals Bristol Foundation Trust plans to merge with Weston Area Health Trust on April 1, subject to regulatory approvals.

The newly formed trust will be called University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW).

The trust will boast a workforce of more than 13,000 people, increasing diversity, capacity and resilience.

Staff will have the opportunity to deliver a wider portfolio of services, strengthening their knowledge base, peer support, skills and experience, as well as helping to deliver services for patients and specialist services across the South West and beyond.

Chief executive Robert Woolley said: "We are committed to creating a new healthcare provider with a greater purpose and, by taking everything that's good about Weston and UH Bristol, we will create an organisation of which every member can be truly proud.

"Changing the name of the trust acknowledges this is a true partnership.

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"The merger will help bring stability to Weston General Hospital, so it remains at the heart of the community, providing services which meet the needs of its patients.

"We will also have a real opportunity to create an even better experience for our patients - ensuring people from North Somerset and surrounding areas will be able to be seen and treated in local hospitals, and improving access to specialist services in Bristol and Weston through better use of an expanded workforce, facilities and estates.

"While the organisation's name is changing, it's important our service users are reassured they will continue to receive the same treatment and care, provided by the same staff in the same location - this merger builds on the close partnership working we have had in place for years."

While there will be a new name for the trust, the name of its component hospitals, such as Weston General Hospital or the Bristol Royal Infirmary, will remain unchanged.

A UHBW spokesman added: "The merger is an opportunity to create a new organisation with a greater purpose, which is seen as a beacon for outstanding education, research, innovation and patient care.

"This venture is in pursuit of our vision for more accessible local healthcare and world-class specialised services, improved digital technology and stronger academic links with leading education providers."