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By Kevin Unitt Monday 07 January 2013 Updated: 08/01 11:30
HEALTH chiefs will push ahead this year with plans to form a Warwickshire 'super trust'.
South Warwickshire Foundation Trust (SWFT) - which runs Warwick Hospital and Stratford Hospital - is looking to take over the running of George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton.
We exclusively revealed in 2011 that SWFT wanted to acquire George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust, after that trust accepted it would not be able to achieve foundation status by the national deadline of 2014 unless it teamed-up with another hospital or private firm.
And bosses at SWFT believe operating both trusts under the one umbrella will prove economically beneficial to both, and also provide a better service for patients.
George Eliot has just received approval from NHS Midlands and East Strategic Health Authority to proceed with identifying a suitable new partner, with chief executive Kevin McGee saying he was looking forward to seeing what potential partners could bring to the table.
Applications from potential bidders will be placed on the NHS Supply2Health website and sifted through before a number of selected organisation are asked to submit full formal proposals. The overall process, resulting in the selection of a preferred partner, is expected to take 12 months.
SWFT's chief executive Glen Burley said he saw the same potential in George Eliot as in the Warwick trust, which has driven down its debts, secured foundation status and improved its performance in recent years.
Mr Burley confirmed SWFT would be bidding for the partnership.
He told The Observer: “Our trust will be completing the first stage of the process and submitting our expression of interest to integrate George Eliot Hospital into a single Warwickshire Foundation Trust.
“Our board firmly believes that this is the best model for the delivery of healthcare for our local communities. We will lead the bid and if successful we would be the organisation that would deliver front line healthcare services.
“We will be supported by private company Serco, who will bring expertise in the bidding process as well as skills that will help us transform health services across Warwickshire.”
SWFT's chief executive Glen Burley - looking to "transform health care across Warwickshire". (s)
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