Three month delay for proposed merger between Brent and Ealing hospital trusts

Plans will see one organisation serving 750,000 residents

A proposed merger between hospital trusts – which could see Brent share its healthcare services with Ealing – has been delayed by three months.

Plans to merge North West London Hospital Trust (NWLHT) with Ealing NHS Trust have been in the pipeline since December and were due to be presented to officials at the end of March, but this will now happen at the end of June.

Under the proposals, NWLHT, which manages Northwick Park and St Mark’s Hospitals in Watford Road and Central Middlesex Hospital in Acton Lane, would join forces with Ealing NHS Trust, which manages Ealing Hospital, in Uxbridge Road, Southall, sharing services between the two trusts.

But speculation has surrounded the plans after a variety of proposals were drawn up, one of which includes scrapping the A&E unit at Harlesden’s Central Middlesex Hospital.

A spokesman for NWLHT said the delay was caused by a need to “refine the financial elements of the business case”.

He added: “We are aiming to present the business case to our Boards at the end of June.

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“Assuming approval at every stage, including the Department of Health Transactions Board, the earliest merger date for the two trusts would be October 2012.

“We remain committed to the merger as we believe it will bring many benefits for patients but also put us in a stronger position to embrace future changes in the NHS.”

The enlarged trust would serve 750,000 residents across Brent, Harrow and Ealing.