Growing pains

Growing pains

Evaluating the benefits of hospital mergers

In October 2013, the UK Competition Commission (CC) issued a landmark decision to block a proposed merger between two hospital trusts in the south of England. This has brought into sharp focus the tensions between – on the one hand – the push to promote patient choice and provider competition and – on the other – the financial and clinical pressures driving trusts together.

This bulletin explains the new challenges for providers considering mergers, as well as for the new Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), when asked to evaluate their benefits.

Growing pains