England

Four-county Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust officially launched

Frimley Park Hospital Image copyright Frimley Park Hospital
Image caption Final approval for the Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust was confirmed last week

A new NHS foundation trust for patients in Hampshire, Surrey, east Berkshire and south Buckinghamshire has officially been launched.

Final approval for the Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust was confirmed last week by the health regulator Monitor.

It merges Wexham Park Hospital in Slough as well as those at Heatherwood in Ascot and Frimley Park in Surrey.

Heatherwood and Wexham Park NHS Trust was rated as inadequate last year and put into special measures.

Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Surrey was then given the go-ahead for the takeover by the Competition and Markets Authority.

The merger was to have taken effect on 1 August but was delayed as financial questions about the deal remained.

The new trust said it would provide hospital services for nearly a million people.

Andrew Morris, its chief executive, said the trust had secured "vital new funding" which would enable it to build a new emergency department and invest in women's health services, including a new care unit for mothers and babies, at Wexham Park.

"And we plan to build a dedicated new elective centre on the Heatherwood site while continuing with our capital investment programme at Frimley Park," he added.

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