Work will not continue on a possible merger with University Hospitals Sussex

Friday 2nd September 2022

Work will not continue on a possible merger with University Hospitals Sussex

The boards of Queen Victoria Hospital and University Hospitals Sussex have agreed not to continue their work exploring a possible merger.

The work has been impacted by the Covid pandemic and recovery, and will continue to be impacted as both organisations respond to the forecast operational pressures.

The boards of both organisations have therefore agreed that this is not the right time to move forwards with developing a business case for merger.

Queen Victoria Hospital will be taking the time needed to consider next steps to secure a sustainable long term future for the hospital.

Jackie Smith, Queen Victoria Hospital Chair said: “QVH is the smallest acute trust in the country, providing outstanding care in a range of specialisms. The Trust continues to face significant challenges in terms of service and workforce resilience as well as financial sustainability. We will be working with our system partners and our staff on how we best secure the future of the hospital and its specialist services for all our patients across Kent, Surrey, Sussex, South London and beyond.”

Alan McCarthy, University Hospitals Sussex Chair said: “Bringing two organisations together is a significant undertaking which requires focus and resource. Both boards have agreed that seeking to complete the merger within the timescale previously proposed would not have been in the best interests of either trust, our patients or our staff.”

Why was a merger considered?
As described in the leaflet Securing the long term future of Queen Victoria Hospital we face some challenges related to our size.

QVH has high quality, safe services, but as the smallest acute trust in the country we face some significant challenges maintaining robust clinical and back officer services. The Trust also has an underlying financial deficit. These challenges need to be addressed in order to secure the hospital and its specialist services for the long term.

On 5 August 2021, the boards of Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust reviewed the strategic case and agreed to work together to develop a full business case for potential merger. The full business case was anticipated to be ready for consideration by the boards of both organisations in Spring 2023.

What happens next?
We need to take a little time to take stock and consider next steps, and how best to secure the long term future of our hospital. We will keep our staff and other stakeholders informed as we do this.

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Added: 2 September 2022.