Somerset NHS merger
If it ever was a secret, it was probably the worst kept one in Somerset. Today the merger has been formally announced between Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust.
Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust is the trust that runs Musgrove hospital in Taunton. Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust runs mental health services for the county and also looks after the community hospitals in places like Minehead, Shepton, South Petherton and Cheddar.
Of course it might just be an April Fool, but I suspect this is the real thing. The amount of time and man hours spent on thinking and “re thinking” a name all by itself would be a source of entertainment.
The name they have come up with for the merged entity after all those hours of deliberation is, er, Somerset FT (or Somerset Foundation Trust).
The two legacy trusts formed an alliance in May 2017 and have worked closely together since then. In late 2017, the two trusts established a joint executive team, with Peter Lewis as joint chief executive, which oversaw all aspects of both trusts’ operations and worked to a single set of strategic objectives covering hospital, community and mental health services.
This means most but not all services for the people of Somerset are delivered through one hospital trust. It would be interesting to see if in the post pandemic period we see moves to join in Yeovil and perhaps Weston and RUH hospitals. The idea of one trust providing services to all the people of Somerset feels like the general direction of travel.