A regional health organisation is to take a national lead on radical new options for the future of local hospitals.
The powers for the three bodies selected to spearhead efforts in developing new ways of working known as ‘multi-hospital chains’, one of which is Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, include the ability to acquire or merge other hospital trusts.
Their operational work will involve sharing clinical knowledge and expertise, spreading innovation and best practice and providing corporate services such as payroll and lease car solutions to other NHS organisations.
Northumbria Healthcare has provided extensive clinical and managerial expertise to North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust since it became an ‘acquisition partner’ in 2012.
In its own area (Northumberland and North Tyneside), it opened a specialist emergency care hospital in June.