Hospital trust merger to complete this weekend

The merger between Southport & Ormskirk NHS Trust and St Helens & Knowsley Teaching Hospitals is set to complete this weekend following approval from health secretary Steven Barclay.

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals (SHKT) took over managing Southport and Ormskirk NHS Trust (S&O) in 2021 after S&O confirmed that a dozen clinical services were “fragile”.

SHKT confirmed the proposed merger in February.

In a letter sent to S&O staff this morning, seen by OTS News, the merger will take effect from Saturday 1 July to create “Mersey & West Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust”.

The newly merged trust is set to be the primary care provider for 600,000 North West residents, employing approximately 9,000 staff.

S&O say their partnership with STHK has “brought significant investment to the local healthcare system.”

The Trust say residents of Southport and Ormskirk will not generally be expected to travel to Whiston or St Helens for appointments, unless a patient is accessing a specialist service.

Future planning documents suggest: “There has been recognition, for many years, that because of the geography, population size and the split of services across the Southport and Ormskirk hospital sites, that its services are not sustainable as a standalone Trust. There is a need for change to make sure that local patients have access to the same services available elsewhere.

“By coming together as one Trust and joining teams from two organisations, it will mean we can continue to deliver and build on the highest quality of care to meet the needs of our patients now and in the future.”

Chief Executive Ann Marr OBE told staff: “On day one we will continue, as we do today, to work in our individual roles, across all locations, providing the highest standards of care, and there will be very little change.

“This is the beginning of an exciting journey, and I look forward to working with you all to continue to provide 5 star patient care to all of our patients across Merseyside and West Lancashire.”

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