HC Deb 20 November 1997 vol 301 cc314-5W
Mr. Denis Murphy

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS trusts in the area covered by the NHS Yorkshire and Northern Region he estimates are currently considering mergers; and if he will estimate the anticipated financial savings and assess the potential benefits to patients if the mergers go ahead. [16165]

Mr. Milburn

We understand that 16 National Health Service trusts in Northern and Yorkshire Region are currently considering mergers. If all these mergers were to be approved, then the 16 existing trusts would be consolidated into eight new NHS trusts.

All new trusts will be expected to achieve savings of around £500,000 from management costs alone from merger. In some cases there is further potential for greater savings from rationalising non-clinical support services and making better use of clinical capacity.

The potential benefits to patients from merger will depend on the type of merger being proposed, but may include: better integration of acute and community services; pooling of resources and expertise to offer patients more effective, integrated specialist services; and creating specialist trusts than can offer patients more responsive services more focused on their needs.

Ministers will only approve mergers if they are able to demonstrate improvements in patient care.

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