Takeover: Tackling failing NHS hospitals, the latest report from think tank Reform, says the current policy of mergers between failing NHS hospitals does not work and therefore calls for private companies and the best NHS hospitals to take over troubled hospitals.
The report sets out a four-point plan for Government to create the conditions for successful takeovers:
- admit there are a significant number of failing hospitals
- stop the policy of merging failing hospitals with other failing hospitals
- incentivise organisations to take over failing NHS hospitals
- make it easier for the organisation that takes over a failing hospital to do the restructuring that will improve services
Expertise within the system
Speaking on the report's conclusions, Mr Farrar said:"This report puts forward some ambitious ideas and timescales. We should use the expertise we have within the system to help address the financial challenges faced by local services. We need to move quickly to ensure these financial pressures don't overcome us.
More than mergers and takeovers
"But this is only one side of the coin. Addressing the problems some trusts are facing will require more than mergers and takeovers. The whole system has to work, not just its individual parts.
"The reality is that many of these trusts face significant financial problems because of the way local services are designed, not simply because of poor management.
"To really tackle the problem we need a fundamental redesign of the way services are provided."
Primary and community care investment
He added: "We need more investment in primary and community care so some patients can get the care they need at home rather than in hospital. And we need to concentrate specialist services on fewer sites where appropriate so patients have access to the best care and the best expertise.
"Short-term fixes are no longer an option. Now is the time for solutions that provide sustainable services for local communities. The NHS needs to make a clear case for change, and we need political backing to help explain to the public why it has to happen."
Find out more
Download the report from Reform's website.
Find out more about the financial challenges facing the NHS.