Weston’s acquisition will no longer proceed – the Trust responds to today’s announcement

Responding to today’s announcement (16th October 2015), by the NHS Trust Development Authority (NHS TDA) that the NHS acquisition of Weston Area Health NHS Trust by Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust (Taunton) will no longer proceed, James Rimmer, Chief Executive of Weston Area Health NHS Trust said:  

“Nobody expected this to be the outcome when the process first began, but any acquisition of Weston had to always fundamentally be about what is best for our patients.  

After robust scrutiny of the business case, the NHS TDA has concluded that an acquisition doesn’t “represent a clinically or financially viable organisation”. So if it’s not right for our patients, it’s not right for us.  

“Weston is a great small Trust with excellent resources. We have a dedicated and caring staff, proud to care for their community and passionate about the NHS. The acquisition may no longer be in progress, but today the NHS has made a public commitment that the hospital remains “an important part of the local NHS” and will continue to serve the population’s needs.

Our job now is to build on that commitment across the region with the wider NHS, including Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust who remains one of our most valued partners in the south west.”

James describes what the future may look like for Weston.  

“As scoped out in the NHS Five Year Forward View  (a study that sets out a vision for the future of the NHS) models of care in the NHS are evolving. Weston is well placed to be at the heart of this evolution. In fact, work has already begun.  

In the Forward View (1) small local hospitals are favoured alongside larger specialist regional centres,(2) while new regional networks between acute hospitals are being encouraged. As a result, establishing new regional partnerships with other acute Trusts is central to our thinking. 

“One of our biggest challenges remains around medical staffing. We’re adopting a new approach by establishing a ‘Sustainability Board’. Its purpose is to create opportunities to share specific Consultant doctor appointments with our three surrounding acute hospital Trusts in Bristol and Taunton. It’s still early days but we hope we’ll be able to attract more doctors to add to our existing highly skilled medical workforce.  

“Significant improvements have been made in the quality and safety of our patient care, patient experience and financial stability. Undoubtedly we still have challenges and issues needing urgent attention. We’ll be working through these challenges with our partners in the NHS seeking alternatives and solutions.  

“We will continue to work closely with our service Commissioners and NHS partners across the region to deliver services in line with our community’s health needs. Our aspiration is to continue on our journey of improvement and become an innovative local hospital at the heart of an evolving and changing NHS.” 

We understand you may have some questions about the acquisition announcement. Please check through our FAQs to see if there is already an answer to your query.