Hertfordshire's primary care trusts to merge

THE two primary care trusts which control healthcare in the county are to merge. Health Secretary Andy Burnham has approved plans for NHS East and North Hertfordshire and NHS West Hertfordshire to join forces, from April 1. The single body will be known a

THE two primary care trusts which control healthcare in the county are to merge.

Health Secretary Andy Burnham has approved plans for NHS East and North Hertfordshire and NHS West Hertfordshire to join forces, from April 1.

The single body will be known as NHS Hertfordshire.

The merger could be deemed a fairly obvious move - since their formation in October 2006, the two PCTs have shared a single management team, with one chief executive and one set of directors, and many staff work across both organisations.


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Chief executive Anne Walker said the plans - which will save an estimated �500,000 a year - received a widespread thumbs-up in a consultation exercise last year.

She said: "I am pleased the majority of local and countywide organisations gave their support to the merger.

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"Many of the responses contained very positive suggestions of how we develop more and better local engagement with partner organisations such as district councils as well as strengthening the links with county organisations.

"We have challenging times ahead and this decision gives us the platform to explore new innovative ways of working with others, making the best use of our joint resources to improve the quality of services for patients."

But North East Herts MP, Oliver Heald, has expressed concern that there has been no assurance that there will be East and North Herts representation on the new board.

"During the consultation into this merger, one of the key points made was that there should be representation on the board for East and North Herts," he said.

"We are told appointments have been made, but there is no information about where they come from, despite trumpeting the fact the chairman comes from West Herts.

"We need to know the new body understands concerns in our area of the county.

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