Hereford & Worcester

Herefordshire care providers could merge

Image caption The merger scheme would save more than £5m if approved

Care services in Herefordshire could be merged into one organisation.

The proposed partnership is between Hereford Hospitals Trust, Herefordshire Council and the NHS Primary Care Trust and could save £5.4 million a year.

It is not yet known how many jobs may be lost due to the merger, which must be approved by the hospital board.

Human resources, finance and legal services would be merged initially, followed later by shared buildings and transport.

The three bodies already share computer and communication staff.

'Work together'

Chris Bull, joint chief executive of Herefordshire Council and the primary care trust, said: "Inevitably, as we bring these services together, there will be less jobs in the system.

"What we are trying to do is deliver a good service and save money so we can protect frontline services."

Mr Bull said the idea had been under consideration for two years but it was not just about cutting costs.

He said: "What we will do is reduce duplication and make sure people see the right member of staff at the right time, that there is no duplication between what goes on in the community, or in the GP practice, or in the hospital."

"It is very much about knitting those things together so that they work as one."

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