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Troubled trust looking for takeover or merger partner

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A troubled foundation trust is looking for a merger or acquisition partner, after concluding it no longer has a future as an independent organisation, it has been revealed.

Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, in mid Nottinghamshire, is understood to be working with regulators to find an organisation to take it on.

“[The trust] is in discussion with a number of organisations to find a long-term partner”

Peter Herring

Trusts considering the idea are Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, according to Nursing Times’ sister title Health Service Journal.

It is also understood that Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was approached but has decided it is not interested.

However, it is currently unclear whether other NHS providers, or independent providers, may be eligible to take over the running of its services.

A decision by Sherwood Forest and Monitor on the future of the foundation trust is expected next month.

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

Troubled trust starts search for takeover or merger partner

Peter Homa

Sherwood Forest is one of England’s most troubled foundation trusts and is predicting a deficit of £44.5m for 2015-16. It has been in special measures since 2013 and is rated “inadequate” by the Care Quality Commission.

In October the CQC and fellow regulator Monitor announced that the trust would require a “close tie-up with a long-term partner” in order to improve.

Nottingham University Hospitals has already been working with Sherwood Forest to provide “light touch” assistance to improve clinical and non-clinical performance.

Nottingham University Hospitals chief executive Peter Homa said: “Since October 2015, we have been providing some tactical support to Sherwood Forest Hospitals Foundation Trust in the areas the CQC identified improvements were required and where we have extensive expertise…

“We are carefully examining a longer-term partnership arrangement with Sherwood Forest, without any commitment at this stage,” he added.

Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Troubled trust starts search for takeover or merger partner

Helen Scott-South

Similarly, Derby Teaching Hospitals interim chief executive Helen Scott-South said: “We have already been providing support to Sherwood Forest Hospitals and are keen to extend this to benefit staff and patients in the longer term…

”We believe that working closely with Sherwood Forest we can bring the best of both organisations together by sharing best practice, as well as clinical and operational expertise, in order to provide the best patient care for our local communities,” she said.

In a statement from Sherwood Forest, its interim chief executive Peter Herring said: “[The trust] is in discussion with a number of organisations to find a long-term partner.

“We believe a partnership with another NHS organisation will give us the best chance of achieving our goal to deliver consistently high quality financially sustainable services for local people,” he said.

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