Colchester & Ipswich NHS trusts merger

The two NHS Board of Governors controlling Colchester Hospital University Trust and Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust decided at a joint Board Meeting held in Langham Community Centre on 24 August to work on amalgamation of the two trusts.

Choosing Langham was a good choice, it’s hard to find. Despite that a good number of people turned up. I had been led to believe that it was to be a consultation. That was not the case. However the Chairman did allow a reasonable time for people to ask questions – very few of which were answered, at least not to my satisfaction.

The proposal is to merge both hospitals. It will save money the CEO suggests, but admits they will only save by becoming more efficient, yet provides no evidence to support the idea that amalgamation will help. He also says they will spend £70 million. This is another dream. They have asked the NHS for that money, without having any guarantee that their dreams will be realised.

As for the rest of the arguments for the merger, they amounted to very little. People were living longer – so costing more. We should all die? Big organisations attract better people – so why were we persuaded that local control of trusts was a good idea?

I am not convinced they know what they are doing. I’m further convinced that Nick Hulme is not the person to manage two trusts. He has a bad track record, all within the NHS. He is no more than than a reliable sop whom NHS managers can rely upon.

These are multi-million pound organisations yet they are being managed in a very amateurish way.

The Future

Two groups got together, in Ipswich, to discus the future. Nobody knew anyone else. One group were teenagers, that was all that distinguished them from the second bunch, who were all over 65 years of age. There were about 30 of us in all, led by Annette and Mark.

It was an interesting and worthwhile experience – that is being repeated elsewhere, and should be developed further. Several members noted it was useful because they never had the chance to talk to folk of a different generation.

Hopefully this was just the start – there will be more, one day.