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UH Bristol and Weston partnership

University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UH Bristol) and Weston Area Health NHS Trust (WAHT) are proposing to merge as one organisation in April 2020. This section of the website provides more information about the proposed merger.

The two organisations have had a formal partnership agreement in place since May 2017 and teams have been collaborating together to provide the best care for our patients.

Merger supports our shared ambition to ensure Weston General Hospital remains at the heart of the community providing the services it is best placed to do in order to meet the needs of local people.

Working together we want to create the conditions for longer term clinical and financial sustainability through our shared workforce, facilities and estate. This will provide the capacity to transform how services are delivered, which in turn will help us to achieve our aspirations for the wider health community, including Healthy Weston and Healthier Together

We have made significant progress over the last two years in planning for a merger through our partnership.

With this in mind, Grahame Paine, WAHT's Chair and James Rimmer, WAHT's Chief Executive, have taken the decision to step aside from 1 September 2019 in recognition of this positive progress.

UH Bristol Chief Executive Robert Woolley will also become Chief Executive of WAHT from 1 September 2019 and UH Bristol Chair Jeff Farrar will also become WAHT Chair from this date.

Whilst Robert and Jeff will be in dual roles, our organisations will remain independent until the point of merger, we are simply bringing the leadership aspects forward. By doing this we are really strengthening the existing formal partnership agreement we have had in place between our organisations.

Ahead of the merger a Full Business Case, which will outline the plans and provide all the information that the decision-makers will need to consider our merger proposal, will be developed for consideration by both Trust Boards in November 2019. This is with a view to the merger taking place in April 2020.

Since our partnership was established we have seen lots of excellent examples of teams collaborating and working more closely together to benefit our staff and our patients.

For example, in June 2019 maternity staff at Weston formally joined the UH Bristol workforce, strengthening the maternity service in North Somerset and building on the great partnership working of recent years.

This has brought benefits to the service, helping us to recruit more midwives, providing development opportunities for staff to work in different types of maternity settings and helping to further sustain the service.

Useful links

Proposed merger takes a significant step forward (30 July 2019)

Two NHS Trusts to work towards possible merger (31 January 2018)

Weston Area Health Trust and University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust agree formal partnership arrangement (9 February 2017)

Strategic Outline Business Case (Click on item 12 or scroll to page 209)