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New era for local NHS services as new Trust launches

Two of the largest Trusts in Greater Manchester, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust (SRFT) and The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (PAT), will formally become one single NHS Trust – known as the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust.

The Trust will become one of the largest NHS organisations in the country, employing over 20,000 staff.

Staff working across its four hospitals and community healthcare services in Oldham, as well as Bury, Rochdale and Salford, are celebrating the start of a "new era" for the organisation, giving certainty and hope for the future of NHS provision in these communities.

As Salford Royal and Pennine Acute Trusts have worked together as one organisation under a group arrangement (Northern Care Alliance NHS Group) since 2017, it is anticipated that the impact of the formal transfer and creation of the new Trust will be minimal for both staff and patients.

The names and identities of the Trust’s four hospital sites will remain unchanged.

Following approval from the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, the transfer will also mark the formal dissolution of The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (PAT) which has been running as the local hospital Trust provider for nearly 20 years, established in January 2002.

Since Salford Royal has teamed up with Pennine Acute through the NCA Group over the past five years, the organisation has been on a journey to bring both services and staff together to help deliver significant improvements - including the quality of care and standards - which have been recognised by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). 

In recognition of the increased population and communities Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust will serve, SRFT will formally change its registered name to Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust.

The NCA brings together four hospitals, 2,000 beds, specialist and acute services, a range of associated community healthcare and social care services. The Trust’s highly-skilled 20,000-strong workforce –“NCA family” – is made up of four Care Organisations, diagnostics and pharmacy services, and many other support teams, all dedicated to saving lives and improving lives.

The first part of the PAT transfer was completed on 1 April 2021 when North Manchester General Hospital was transferred to Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) as part of previous plans for the Single Hospital Service for the City of Manchester and Trafford. 

The NCA is investing in and developing new digital technologies and systems, creating new models of care and integrated services, sharing skills and learning, and investing in its people and services.

Professor Michael Luger, Chair of Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This marks the start of a new era for our organisation and for everyone who works and volunteers across our hospitals and services.

“Today is a monumental day for the NCA. We formally transition from two Trusts to a single, joined-up organisation - the Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust.

“We are delighted that this day has arrived. A great deal of work has been going on behind the scenes, involving many of our teams, working with our partners, to bring us to this point. And we have already seen the benefits of bringing our staff and services together under one group over the past five years.

“We can now focus our attention and efforts on what is important – investing in and further transforming and integrating our services for our staff, patients and service users.

“The NCA will continue to take an active role across our four localities in Oldham, Bury, Rochdale and Salford, working with our place-based partners to drive further integration and improvements in the health outcomes of the communities we serve.

“I also want to thank our staff for everything they do every day for each other and for those who need our care. It is right that we come together today to recognise the exceptional hard undertaken and look forward to a positive future, together.”

Dawn Lee, Birth Centre Manager at The Royal Oldham Hospital, has worked for the Trust since 1989.

She said: “There have been so many changes since I began my career here; I was part of the national Project 2000 nursing programme and have worked in a number of areas, from intensive care supporting families enduring their worst moments to our fantastic birth centre where we share such joy with people welcoming their new babies.

"The team here are like extended family, and although I’m approaching the end of my professional career now, I’m sure that the NCA will continue to develop and care for our local communities for many years to come.”

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