Suffolk & North East Essex Shadow Integrated Care System

The merger between Colchester and Ipswich hospitals

September 2018

In each edition, we will focus on a different aspect of change that has come about through the STP. This month’s focus in on the merger between Colchester and Ipswich hospitals.

East Anglia’s largest NHS trust started life last month following the merger of Ipswich and Colchester hospitals. East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) brings together the two trusts that previously ran Colchester (CHUFT) and Ipswich (IHT) hospitals. With shared leadership in place since 2016, the merger was a sensible next step. As a single organisation, less money will be spent on overheads and duplication. By bringing our teams and resources together, ESNEFT can focus on seeing patients at the right time, attracting and keeping the best staff and providing the latest treatments locally. Running through everything the new trust does is its new philosophy of “time matters”, which will remove avoidable stress and frustration for patients, their families and staff.

The merger process took around two years. This was a lengthy time period but it is important that the NHS, the regulators and stakeholders were assured the new organisation could deliver on its aims. Staff and patients and partners also needed to be engaged with plans, to make sure the trust provide excellent healthcare to all its communities. The process went through various stages. There was a strategic outline case in January 2017, then an outline business case in August 2017 and the final business case which was approved at the end of March 2018. You can view these documents by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page.

ESNEFT began serving its local residents on 01 July 2018, in the same week as the NHS’s 70th anniversary. The trust has around 10,000 staff providing services from Colchester and Ipswich hospitals, local hospitals and clinics and some community services. Clinicians and staff say they are excited about the possibilities that ESNFT will offer its local residents and staff. It will continue to engage with local people as the organisation continues to develop over the months and years ahead.