Trust boards agree to formal merger application

The Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation (WSHT) and Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH) boards of directors and the WSHT Council of Governors met yesterday and approved the decision to submit a formal application to merge the two trusts on 1 April 2021 when the joint management contract expires. This decision follows the approval of an outline business case in September 2020,

Following supportive comments from NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSEI), who described the strategic reasons for the merger as both ‘clear’ and ‘strongly supported’, and with the Secretary of State’s own support for the transaction application, the trusts are hoping to get the green light in time to start the new financial year as University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust (UHSussex).

The new trust will develop an exciting five year clinical strategy to explore where it can make the best improvements for patients and develop new services that ensure fewer people in Sussex have to travel elsewhere for high quality hospital care.

This clinical strategy work also cements the trust’s commitment to continuing to invest in all the services currently provided, including emergency, specialist, tertiary and trauma care.

Chief Executive, Dame Marianne Griffiths said: “We are committed to developing our vibrant local hospitals and maintaining the services we know local people treasure, such as A&E and maternity care. By coming together as one trust, we will have the experience, expertise, funds and influence to safeguard and improve hospitals services in Sussex.”