Health trust in takeover bid

THE health trust which runs the Royal Lancaster Infirmary could soon be overseeing two new hospitals in Cumbria.

The University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBFT) which already operates Westmorland General Hospital and Furness General Hospital as well as the RLI, has submitted a bid for the acquisition of North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust.

NCUH runs Whitehaven’s West Cumberland Hospital and the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.

Poor finances at the two hospitals mean they cannot become a foundation trust, as required by the government by 2014, in their own right.

They must instead merge with or be taken over by an existing foundation trust – with Morecambe Bay, Newcastle, Northumbria and the Cumbria Partnership all in the frame. UHMBFT chief executive Tony Halsall said: “We are one of four NHS trusts which have submitted a first stage bid for the acquisition of North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust.

See the Lancaster Guardian (04-08-11) for full story.