Find out more about the reasons why we have come together here.
Our trusts view this as providing opportunities to improve care for patients, particularly at a time when the NHS faces a number of challenges. These include:
Doctors, nurses and health professionals across both trusts have been working increasingly closer, as patients often have multiple health needs that require care by specialist services. However, being two separate organisations meant there were issues with the timeliness of sharing patient information or transferring care from one trust to the other.
The services of Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust and Aintree University Hospital have evolved over time, largely independently to the development of services at the other Trust and at times in competition with each other. There were more than 20 services duplicated across the hospitals. There were differences in how these services were delivered and the range of services that were available. This means patients did not always have access to the same level of care or the same specialist services. This also created challenges as all hospitals need to make sure they have the right number of doctors, nurses and health professionals with the right skills, to provide high quality, safe care. This becomes difficult when local trusts are competing to attract the same staff and is made worse by national shortages in some professions.
All services have standards that are set to ensure they deliver quality care. Clinical standards, set by the Royal Colleges and the NHS nationally, mean many highly specialist services are often only available in one hospital in a region. This is because all the evidence tells us that highly complex and specialist procedures are more successful when teams are performing them more often. This can only be achieved by having specialist centres that provide services to a wider group of patients.
If Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust and Aintree University Hospital hadn't come together, there could have been a real risk that we would lose specialist services to areas that have already brought teams and services together and can meet required standards.
Prior to the change, the same services were run by two separate hospital trusts in the city. This means there is duplication, which creates unnecessary waste and delays to care. The NHS needs to make sure services are efficient, if it is to protect them for the future. By making our trusts efficient we can ensure the money we have is spent in the best possible way. Despite the passion, commitment and hard work of our staff, these challenges cannot be solved by individual trusts. We found a solution that would hopefully improve what we can offer patients and enable us to deliver high quality care for our patients.