Herts primary care trusts announce merger plans
THE two primary care trusts in the county are to merge under the umbrella name NHS Hertfordshire from April 1. By bringing together the East and North Herts PCT and West Herts PCT, the combined operation could save in the region of half a million pounds i
THE two primary care trusts in the county are to merge under the umbrella name NHS Hertfordshire from April 1.
By bringing together the East and North Herts PCT and West Herts PCT, the combined operation could save in the region of half a million pounds in administrative costs.
Prior to the merger, the PCTs admitted they were facing significant financial challenges relating to a considerable overspend on budget.
As revealed in the Herts Advertiser, the cash-strapped PCTs decided in the autumn to try and ease the situation by listing 18 procedures for which agreement has to be reached in advance before they can be carried out.
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The impact of the ruling on such treatments as hysterectomies, elective hip and knee surgery, cataracts, back injections, tooth extraction and epidurals for chronic pain is now starting to percolate through the system
Consultation on the merger showed strong local support and those who responded made a number of positive suggestions for improving the effectiveness of local partnership working.
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Anne Walker, chief executive of the PCTs, said: "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."
St Albans MP Anne Main has welcomed the merger, pointing out that the Herts PCTs had been operating as a single unit under the same management since their foundation.
She added: "I think that many people were confused as to why the local NHS had two separate trusts anyway and hopefully this move will help people to navigate their way through the layers of bureaucracy a little more easily.
"In the end people want money spent on frontline services and not box-ticking and form-filling. If this helps us move towards that, it is surely a good thing.