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Board gives go ahead for Royal Free to takeover Chase Farm Hospital

08:30 10 June 2014

The Royal Free Hospital has completed its takeover of Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals Trust

The Royal Free Hospital has completed its takeover of Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals Trust

Nigel Sutton

The takeover of Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals Trust by the Royal Free took a step closer last week as its board and council of governors gave approval for the plan.

The decision comes shortly after Monitor, the foundation trust regulator, also gave approval for the proposed acquisition, saying it would “help the Royal Free to provide sustainable, quality services for local patients and improve patient care through new clinical models”.

The proposed takeover arose after Barnet and Chase Farm revealed in 2012 that it would be unable to meet the deadline set by the government to become an independently-run foundation trust.

The Royal Free in Pond Street, Hampstead, was chosen as the preferred trust to take it over.

David Sloman, the chief executive of the Royal Free, said: “Clinicians and managers from both trusts have spent a long time looking at how an expanded organisation will be able to provide even better services for our patients that are also more efficient for the taxpayer.

“Our aim is to improve care across all three sites and provide world class care closer to patients’ homes.”

Councillors scrutinising the bid have previously expressed fears that the Royal Free could be involved in an “asset-stripping” exercise that would see Enfield patients lose out and the Royal Free pocketing the profits.

Assuming approval is given by secretary of state for health Jeremy Hunt later this month, Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals will become part of the Royal Free Foundation Trust from July 1.

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