Merger Planning and Integration: NHS Acute and Community Trust
In July 2012, a Trust Special Administrator (TSA) was appointed to South London Healthcare NHS Trust (SLHT), a challenged Trust facing significant operational and financial problems. In November 2012, the TSA published a number of draft recommendations for public consultation. These included proposed radical changes to the configuration of clinical services, including A&E, maternity and children’s services, which had significant implications for Lewisham Healthcare NHS Trust, the neighbouring Trust.
Tracey worked with the Board and its Clinical Leadership Group to develop the Lewisham Healthcare NHS Trust’s formal consultation response to the TSA’s draft proposals. This response helped shape the TSA’s final recommendations, the Secretary of State’s decision and informed a Judicial Review.
One of the recommendations was for the merger of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, one of three hospitals that constituted South London Healthcare NHS Trust, with Lewisham Healthcare NHS Trust. Tracey worked with the clinical teams of the two merging hospitals to support the development of an Integration Business Plan and help prepare the organisation for merger. This included identifying the additional funding required for specific service developments to ensure the Trust continued to provide safe and sustainable services during and post-integration.
On 1st October 2013 a new organisation, Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust (LGT), was formed that provides NHS services for local people living in Lewisham, Greenwich, Bexley and other parts of South East London. The Department of Health and local NHS commissioners are providing funding to ensure the Trust continues to provide safe and sustainable services. As a larger organization LGT will be better placed to respond to the external challenges facing all NHS organisations.