Merging trusts target £20m annual savings

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    • Trusts aiming for £20m recurrent savings after 2024-25
    • Competition regulator will not review the merger
    • Managers opted against “three-way” merger with neighbour trust

    NHS chiefs in Somerset say a merger between the county’s main acute and community and mental health trusts will deliver annual recurrent savings of nearly £20m.

    Taunton and Somerset Foundation Trust and Somerset Partnership FT are targeting yearly savings of £19.3m after merging, although they do not expect the savings to materialise before 2024-25. The savings are expected within emergency care, elective care and support services.

    The trusts have committed to making cumulative savings worth £51.3m by 2024-25 if the merger is completed this financial year. Chiefs had initially planned to merge the trusts this autumn.

    The new savings details have been set out in a summary of the trusts’ business case for the merger, which was published earlier this month. The trusts told HSJ they could not release the full business case, which has been sent to NHS England/Improvement, due to purdah.

    Both trusts are forecasting small surpluses in 2019-20. But, according to the business case, both trusts’ finances will “deteriorate” if they continue to operate as separate organisations.

    Under this scenario, Somerset Partnership FT – the community and mental health trust – would forecast a deficit of £3.2m by 2024-25 while Taunton and Somerset FT’s deficit would stand at £15.4m.

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Source: HSJ
Date: 12 November 2019