RUH and Min 'will benefit from merger'
The man in charge of the Royal United Hospital says its merger with the city's historic Min will be "like two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle coming together".
More than 200 people gathered at the Assembly Rooms to hear how the RUH has been improving care for patients and planning for an administrative amalgamation with the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases.
Chief executive James Scott told the RUH NHS Trust annual meeting that its plans for foundation status and the merger would benefit both hospitals.
Becoming a foundation trust would give the RUH greater financial independence, and so far 9,300 people have signed up to become official members of the trust – with 5,453 of these being members of the public, and the rest staff.
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The public members have the chance to stand for two seats on a new board of governors, with voting taking place at the end of this month.
Mr Scott said: "We are confident of the plans put forward to become a foundation trust, and feel it is a new way for us to communicate with you."
The merger could take place as early as spring next year, and Mr Scott added: "Plans for the merger are moving ahead, but we cannot do it until we become a foundation trust.
"We want to create one big organisation, and it will be like two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle coming together.
"It makes sense to bring the two together, and it will greatly benefit patients of both hospitals."
Dr Alastair Kerr spoke about improving care for patients at the end of their lives.