Public Sector Mergers
We may confidently expect an increase in the numbers of NHS Trusts/Foundation Trusts merging as the sector consolidates to provide efficient and effective health service we are using our expertise in this arena to work with the Department for Health and other key stakeholders to write the standard guidance for NHS bodies to help them navigate the merger process. We have knowledge of the practical issues and an intimate knowledge of the regulatory issues which will influence merger decisions and how they are carried out.
Our single team can support the merger process addressing governance and vires issues, competition and procurement issues, tax, employment/pension, asset realisation and transfer; all the things that need to be sorted out in a complex merger.
Acquisition and Disposal
A merger could be effected by a straightforward acquisition of assets by the new host trust and the disposal by another. The National Health Service Act 2006 empowers NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts to acquire and dispose of assets. If the disposing trust does not have a continuing role then, if it is an NHS Trust, the Secretary of State may dissolve it. Foundation Trusts are treated rather differently and Monitor may require the directors to make a proposal for a voluntary arrangement.
Another way of achieving a merger is for a transfer of the assets from one NHS body to another. There are various routes to a statutory transfer depending upon whether you are seeking to transfer only assets (and not liabilities) or where there is to be a dissolution of an NHS Trust. In the case of failure there may be a default transfer by the Secretary of State's order or where there is a failure on the part of a Foundation Trust (in which case the powers of Monitor and the Secretary of State inter-relate to achieve a managed solution).
The 2006 Act also provides a statutory merger route involving joint trust applications, a decision by Monitor and dissolution and transfer of assets by the Secretary of State.
In any case we will use our skills to identify the preferred solution to meet particular circumstances and use our expertise to deliver a timely solution.