A new hospital acquisition approved by the health regulator for the NHS will benefit patients and the general public in Devon.
In particular, thousands of patients located in South Devon are set to benefit from more integrated healthcare after the move by Monitor.
South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has acquired Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care NHS Trust, effectively merging the two organisations.
As the two trusts already collaborated on a close basis, indeed already sharing some back office functions, the potential for the two to cooperate on a wider basis is obvious.
Resulting from the decision will be a joint healthcare provision in the South Devon region, with the two trusts jointly providing acute, community and social care services.
Although Monitor has already approved this transaction, the process of assessing its legitimacy is nonetheless ongoing.
The health regulator has particularly requested the newly created trust to continue making improvements with regard to patient flow.
Both A&E and routine procedures are affected by this ongoing monitoring, and the health regulator has also requested the trust to improve its existing plans to integrate care.
Speaking on the subject of the South Devon acquisition, Miranda Carter, Executive Director of Provider Appraisal at Monitor, was keen to point out that this was a logical move, and beneficial for patients in the region.
“South Devon Healthcare provides valued services for patients across South Devon and Torbay, including general, elective and emergency care. By integrating these services with Torbay and Southern Devon’s community and social care services it will be able to provide local people with care that is more convenient, closer to home, and with a greater focus on keeping people healthy and out of hospital,” Carter pointed out.
In addition, Carter suggested that the model acquisition which has been created in South Devon could act as a template for other regions in the United Kingdom.
“This is a good example of the kind of innovative change that will help trusts to improve care for patients, whilst also offering better value for money services and meeting the challenges faced by the NHS,” Carter noted.
The Executive Director of Provider Appraisal at Monitor was also keen to outline to the newly created trust that it has certain responsibilities.
“Now that we have approved this acquisition we expect the trust to press ahead with plans and ensure services integrate smoothly for patients and staff,” Carter reminded the newly created trust.
Following the merger, the trust will be called Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust.