Union meeting over Scarborough, York hospital merger

image captionScarborough hospital's managers fear it will not achieve foundation status without outside help

Union chiefs are to hold talks with NHS bosses after Scarborough hospital announced plans for a merger with a neighbouring NHS trust.

The hospital, which has been dogged by financial and care quality concerns, has approached York Hospital over a possible partnership.

Ray Gray, from Unison, said he expected to meet Scarborough and York's chief executives soon to discuss the plan.

He said it was "early days" and urged members not to panic about job losses.

The move has been prompted by the government's desire for all hospitals to become foundation trusts by 2013.

Job concerns

Scarborough said it would not make the grade without the help of York, which was granted foundation status in 2007.

Scarborough Hospital has debts of £4m and was criticised by regulators earlier this month because of concerns over the standard of its care.

Mr Gray said: "It's early days yet, we have got to have talks with the chief executives of both the trusts.

"We are not sure the affect that this is going to have on the service but please don't panic, don't listen to rumours, let's get some talks with the employers and see where we go from there."

Mr Gray said if the merger went ahead he expected it to happen before the start of the next financial year in April.

Terry Cunliffe, from the Unite union, said: "I have got some concerns, as will my members... particularly about job security and a willingness by the new trust to invest in very important and required improvements on the Scarborough site.

"York is a very well-run hospital and we'd hope that some of that would rub off on Scarborough."

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