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UK Watchdog Clears NHS Hospital Trusts Merger

 |  April 27, 2020

In 2013, the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) predecessor, the Competition Commission, prohibited a previous merger proposal between the hospital trusts. As a result, they were required to enter into a 10-year commitment not to merge without the CMA’s permission.

When investigating an National Health Service (NHS) hospital merger, the CMA considers the potential impact of that merger on competition between hospitals. Since the Competition Commission’s decision, there have been significant changes to policy within the NHS that have affected the role that competition plays in the provision of public healthcare services.

The CMA’s investigation in this case has confirmed that competition between NHS hospitals now plays little role in the provision of NHS services in the east Dorset area, with collaboration often viewed as a better way to meet increasing demands for care and deliver better value. In particular, the CMA found that the 2 hospital trusts have limited incentive to compete with each other, given the way that they are now funded, and so there would be no significant loss of competition in this area after the deal.

The CMA has therefore concluded that the merger does not give rise to competition concerns and should be cleared. The CMA has, in parallel, also released the hospitals from the commitment not to merge that they had given in 2013.

Full Content: Mirage News

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