Hospital trusts merge From yesterday (1 April), University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust and Weston Area Health NHS Trust have formally merged to become University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust (UHBW). The new Trust boasts a workforce of over 13,000, aiming to deliver exceptional local services for local people and specialist services across the South West and beyond. UHBW will be a beacon for outstanding education, research, innovation and patient care, serving a core population of over half a million people. There are a number of benefits in building on the many years of partnership working between the two Trusts and taking the step to become one organisation. These include: A better experience for our patients – ensuring people from North Somerset and surrounding areas can be seen and treated in their local hospital, and improving access to specialist services in both Bristol and Weston through better use of our expanded workforce and facilities. Increased diversity, capacity and resilience among our staff, allowing for greater training and development opportunities across a much wider portfolio of services, strengthening the knowledge base, peer support, skills and experience of all our employees. Greater opportunities to share expertise and best practice, particularly in the development of exemplar models of frailty and ambulatory care, collaborating with others to provide more services at home or close to home. Accelerated roll-out of new information technology to support consistent delivery of the best care right across the new organisation, building on our Digital Exemplar status. Support for innovation and research, releasing untapped potential in our services and empowering our teams to design new pathways at the forefront of medical and surgical ambulatory care. Commenting on the final milestone in the merger process, Robert Woolley, chief executive of UHBW, said: “This is a momentous occasion in the history of two proud hospital Trusts and one that wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our dedicated workforce in Weston and in Bristol. I am immensely grateful for their hard work to help us achieve this merger but particularly for everything they are doing for our patients at this unprecedented time. “Uniting the Trusts increases our diversity, capacity and resilience, and provides a unique opportunity to bring together the things that make both the Weston and Bristol hospitals great places to work and to receive care, in order to create an even better and stronger organisation for the future. “It’s important to reassure our service users that, while the name of the Trust may have changed, they will continue to receive care from the same staff in the same location that they do now.” The names of our component hospitals, including Weston General Hospital and the Bristol Royal Infirmary, will remain unchanged. To support UHBW, make a donation.