Mergers in the NHS: lessons from the decision to block the proposed merger of hospitals in Bournemouth and Poole: Health Foundation summary and analysis: summary

Document type
Corporate author(s)
Health Foundation (Great Britain
Health Foundation
Date of publication
1 December 2014
Health Services
Social welfare
Material type

Download (219KB )

Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (PHFT) and Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (RBCHFT) decided to pursue a merger in November 2011. After a long, tortuous, unclear and costly process the merger was finally rejected by the Competition Commission (CC) in October 2013. The two trusts were required to sign undertakings that for ten years they would not seek to apply or implement a merger without the explicit permission of the competition authorities. The CC rejected the proposed merger because it was expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition (SLC) and the patient benefits put forward by the trusts as mitigation were not found to be relevant customer benefits under the Enterprise Act 2002. This left the CC with no choice but to prohibit the merger.