Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust (NDHT) and the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust (RD&E) will merge on 1 April 2022 to become the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
The integration has been formally approved by the NDHT and RD&E Boards, the RD&E’s Council of Governors, NHS Improvement and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.
Suzanne Tracey, Chief Executive Officer of the merged organisation, said:
“This is the final milestone in bringing together NDHT and the RD&E. We’ve been partners for a really long time, and as we’ve worked even more closely together over the past four years, we’ve seen what we can achieve together.
“Formally bringing our organisations together unlocks opportunities to improve the resilience and sustainability of the healthcare we deliver to our patients across all of the areas we serve, from North, to Mid, to East Devon.
“We have really strong ambitions for what we can achieve together and from July, we will have a common electronic patient record which will help us to modernise how we offer care to our patients for the future.”
The new organisation will be called the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. Over 500 staff and members of the public were involved in the development of the name and it was chosen because it reflects the geographical span, heritage and aspirations of the merged Trust.
Dame Shan Morgan will be Chair of the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. Dame Shan said:
“I am delighted to be taking up my post on such a momentous day for the trusts. This is a massive achievement and is the right thing to do for the people of North and East Devon.
“I will be taking over from James Brent who has been Chairman at RD&E since 2012 and NDHT since 2018, and whose chairmanship has made this merger possible. I would like to thank him for the vital role he has played in bringing our Trusts together and for all the support he has given to me as I’ve prepared to step into my new role.
“1 April will be a historic day for the Trusts as they come together, but we want to reassure patients that they will see very little difference from day one. The same services will still be offered from all of our hospitals and teams.”
Whilst the name of the overall Trust will change, North Devon District Hospital, the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (Wonford and Heavitree) and the Trust’s community services – including community hospitals – will continue to be known by their existing names.
Over the next two-three years, teams will be working together to merge their corporate and clinical services to serve the new Trust’s combined population.
Suzanne Tracey added: “On behalf of both NDHT and RD&E, I want to say a huge thank you to our patients, staff and communities who have supported us to get to this point. It has been a challenging couple of years in the NHS, but as a merged organisation, we are looking to the future with more hope than ever before.”
You can find more information about the integration on the Trust websites: