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Response to Competition Commission provisional findings

The Competition Commission (CC) has published its provisional findings on the proposed merger between Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (PHFT) and The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (RBCHFT).

In a joint statement, Tony Spotswood, Chief Executive at RBCHFT, and Chris Bown, Chief Executive at PHFT, said:

“The Trusts are bitterly disappointed that the interests of competition are being put before the interests of patients, their care, welfare and safety. The Competition Commission has a duty which is to assess whether the proposed merger will result in a significant lessening of competition. The two Trusts have emphasised that they provide complementary services, work together collaboratively, do not compete and wish to come together to protect and enhance services for patients and the residents of Poole and Bournemouth.

“The Competition Commission asserts that the merger (with the number of management organisations reducing from two to one) will reduce patient choice. We refute this. We plan to maintain two viable hospitals.

“The likely prohibition of the merger will now create uncertainty about the future of services for the residents of east Dorset. The merger would have provided a basis to increase consultant delivered care, improve the quality of care and provided local people with new facilities for obstetric care, emergency care and treatment of cancer.

“The Trusts consider that the process is not fit for purpose and will be raising this at the highest level.”

The Trusts will now consider fully the contents of the CC’s provisional findings before responding.

The CC’s final decision is currently expected by 26 August 2013.

Details of the CC announcement can be found at www.competition-commission.org.uk/our-work/directory-of-all-inquiries/royal-bournemouth-and-christchurch-poole/news-releases

Date: 11 July 2013

Media enquiries

For more information about the Competition Commission and the merger contact the communications team at The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust on 01202 704271 or email communications@rbch.nhs.uk

Media enquiries

For more information contact the communications team:

Tel: 01202 442269
Email: communications@poole.nhs.uk

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Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Longfleet Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 2JB. Tel: 01202 665511

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