Hertfordshire’s PCTs 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 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.

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.

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

“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.

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“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.”

Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps urged the new body to get on with the task in hand.

He said: “It’s yet another reorganisation.

“Those with not particularly long memories will remember there was a PCT for Welwyn Hatfield, then there was two for Hertfordshire, now there’s just one.

“You just wish they would stop reorganising this thing every couple of years and start doing what they’re there to do – delivering healthcare.”

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