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Tuesday 25th October 2016

Life after the merger

9th January 2007

With the focus firmly on NHS reforms, former strategic health authority chief executive Ken Jarrold offers up his tips to achieving successful reconfiguration.

Writing in the Health Service Journal, the senior consultant at Dearden Consulting concentrates on how to merge with confidence, and what behaviours will help ensure a success change over.

While strategic health authorities, ambulance and mental health trusts have already been there, primary care trusts now face large reductions in numbers. And he predicts acute trusts won’t be far behind.

'Three forces - financial recovery, service reconfiguration and foundation status - will raise merger issues for acute trusts.' he writes.

Drawing on his own experiences, he suggests successful organisations ensure they see the move as a real merger, taking the best elements of each organisation, its structures, ideas and its staff. He encourages demonstrating fairness in everything, particularly recruitment; be magnanimous and celebrate the successes of the disappearing bodies. Finally he recommends a personal approach to communications with all colleagues to dispel rumours and unease.

For 'the vanquished', it is equally as important to ensure the merger is successful. This means accepting the changes and showing commitment to the new order. Be magnanimous in defeat and celebrate the success of the new organisation – and give the incomers some credit for knowing what they are doing.

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