A single NHS Trust to run Oxfordshire’s four teaching hospitals starts work today under the new name Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust.
The University of Oxford and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust will remain two separate organisations, but the new name for the Trust marks a new and close working relationship between the University and the Trust in teaching, research and patient care.
Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust is the newly named NHS organisation arising from a merger of the city’s two acute hospital Trusts (the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust and the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre NHS Trust).
The John Radcliffe hospital, the Churchill hospital, the Horton General in Banbury and the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre will retain their current names and functions, but will now be run by a single NHS Trust under a single board and management team.
The merger of the the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust and the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre NHS Trust was approved last month by the Secretary of State for Health Andrew Lansley, and takes effect today.
The University of Oxford plays no part in the merger, which is an NHS matter, but the new name of the merged Trust signals the close working relationship between the University and the local hospitals.
A joint working agreement between the merged Trust and the University of Oxford will now come into operation, and provide a formal structure and governance for the relationship between the two organisations. The joint working agreement is designed to support the best teaching of medical students, excellence in medical research and the delivery of quality healthcare.
Professor Andrew Hamilton, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University, said: ‘The University and the hospitals have long had a close relationship, which the new name for the merged Trust reflects.
‘With the joint working agreement between our organisations now coming into effect, we are determined to deliver a health sciences collaboration which will provide high-quality healthcare for patients, backed by the latest in world-leading medical research.’
There have long been close connections between the hospitals and the University. Oxford University medical students benefit from the clinical training they receive at the hospitals. Many staff have both University and NHS roles, carrying out leading research in University departments and running clinics and treating patients in the hospital.
Professor Alastair Buchan, head of medical sciences at Oxford University, said: ‘These tighter links between the University and the hospitals should see benefits for patients locally and see Oxford play its role in driving medical advances on the world stage. It’s a very positive step. You can’t do the best clinical research without patients being involved, and the best medical care is grounded in the latest research.’