Off: Medway and Darent Valley hospitals merger abandoned
A huge merger of Medway and Darent Valley hospital trusts has been called off.
Chief executives of both hospitals announced the decision to ditch the plans to staff.
The proposal had been on ‘pause’ amid the damaging Keogh report into death rates and standards at Medway.
The merger had been seen as a way of massively cutting costs without affecting frontline NHS services, while setting up centres of excellence across the region.
Medway chief executive Mark Devlin had enthusiastically backed the original plan claiming he would be the ‘financial Berlusconi of Kent” if the move failed.
Susan Acott, chief executive of Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust, said: “We will continue to work with Medway Hospital on a range of joint projects, and of course this does not preclude other areas of work at present or in the future where joint working proves mutually beneficial between us as neighbouring hospitals.”
The merger plans had come in for criticism by NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh who said executives had taken their eye of the ball while failing to grasp more immediate problems with services at buildings at Medway Maritime.
Chatham MP Tracey Crouch said today: “This is obviously disappointing for those who supported the merger which would have created points of excellence across North Kent.
"But now it is off, the Medway NHS Trust should see this as an opportunity to refocus all of its energies in improving and delivering top quality services at the Maritime.”
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