You may already be aware that our plans to merge with the Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust have been delayed. Back in February, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced their intention to refer the merger to a second assessment phase.
The CMA's role is to determine whether or not there is likely to be any significant reduction in competition or choice as a result of our proposed merger and, if there is, whether or not this is outweighed by the strength of the proposed patient benefits. The second phase should take around six months and be completed later this summer.
If we receive clearance from the CMA, the next stage will be approval of our Full Business Case by the boards of both Trusts and further assessment by Monitor, the healthcare sector regulator.
We will keep you updated as this progresses.