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Royal Cornwall Merger?

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3:30pm 22nd August 2014
(Updated 3:30pm 22nd August 2014)

The woman in charge of Cornwall's biggest hospital says the Duchy's healthcare system is unsustainable.

Lezli Boswell, Chief Executive at Treliske, wants to merge with other healthcare providers to make one NHS body.

She says it would mean more effective care for patients, more innovation and would make sense financially.

In a letter to staff she said: "You may be aware that Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Peninsula Community Health are currently exploring a merger and I am keen that Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust is part of that discussion.
"I believe that we have a once in a generation opportunity to revolutionise healthcare for the local community and we should now bring services together to meet patient need rather than organisational need.
"It also makes sense financially and many of you hopefully realise that the way services are currently configured is not sustainable and in truth not the best way to provide healthcare.
"One integrated NHS provider would of course mean significant changes for all of us individually and collectively - including potentially us agreeing not to pursue NHS Foundation Trust status. Personally, I think we need to consider all options if we want to be ambitious for our community and provide the outstanding care we all want for our friends and family.
"I recognise that for all sorts of reasons there will be resistance to one integrated NHS provider for Cornwall but I believe that it is right for this community and the right time to make this happen. For our patients sake I hope you will support this approach and will talk more about this in the coming weeks."

Lezli Boswell says no decisions are made and there will be staff and public consultations.

She said: "I can understand people being anxious, but I think this is a huge opportunity and we need to ensure people dont feel anxious when actually the opportunity there is much greater for patients, their families and carers.

"Change is inevitable at the moment in the NHS, we're here to deliver good care, a high standard of care to pateints, and we all have a responsibility to explore what that change might mean for the patient, what it might mean for their services, how it might improve things."

Stuart Roden is from Unison, he said: "It has obviously caused some reaction, but by and large we support and welcome the initiative, we think that having one integrated service in Cornwall, and across the community and voluntary sector, does make a lot of sense.

"Obviously it may need fewer management teams for fewer organisations, but we think if we plan that ahead and work collectively together we could minimise the impact or have no impact on staff."

3:30pm 22nd August 2014

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