Crucial hospital services will be lost in Burton if the town's proposed NHS merger with its Derby counterpart fails to go ahead, a health boss has revealed.

The stark warning was issued by Gavin Boyle, the man who will take on the role of chief executive of the extended trust, at an information meeting for residents in Burton.

Hospital bosses say there will be no enforced job losses from proposed merger, but warn 'natural staff turnover' will continue

Plans are in the pipeline for Burton and Derby hospital trusts to join together, allowing services to be shared between the two hospitals. The partnership will also incorporate Lichfield and Tamworth's community hospitals from the Burton Trust and Derby's community hospital from the Derby Trust.

Gavin Boyle said: "We are operating in an extremely challenging position in the NHS. As two hospitals, we need to find a way to clear a course in that difficulty and work together.

No job loss will be felt at Queen's Hospital in Burton, according to chief executives
No job loss will be felt at Queen's Hospital in Burton, according to chief executives

"If this partnership does not go ahead, services will be lost at Burton."

The meeting was held at Burton's Queen's Hospital on Thursday, October 26 when dozens of residents turned out to put their questions to hospital bosses, including raising fears of potential redundancies for staff members.

Health chiefs confirmed there would be no 'wholesale redundancies' among the 12,000 members of staff if the merger goes ahead as planned.

The plans have faced controversy as many Burton residents have raised fears the merger could see vital services taken away from the town, but bosses are now insisting that these services will be lost altogether it the proposals do not go ahead.

Gavin Boyle will become the chief executive of the proposed combined trust between Burton and Derby
Gavin Boyle will become the chief executive of the proposed combined trust between Burton and Derby

Despite this, the chief executives of both hospitals, Helen Scott-South of Burton and Gavin Boyle of Derby, say the move will strengthen both trusts.

Mr Boyle described the proposals as a 'partnership of equals'.

He said: "It's more a partnership than a merger. The A and E department is a critical part of the partnership and local people really value that service.

Stroke services to move from Burton's Queen's Hospital to Royal Derby once merger is finalised

"We think it is the right thing to do for the people of Derbyshire and Staffordshire."

But opponents of the proposals claim that services will be lost in the town even if the merger does go through.

Secretary of East Staffordshire Trades Union Council, William Walker, said: "I attended the East Staffordshire Borough Council Scrutiny Committee meeting on Monday, October 30, where Gavin Boyle made it quite clear that the intention was to cut services from Burton once this takeover goes through.

"Hospital mergers have become code to cut and close services and spread the burden of private finance initiative debt."

The accident and emergency section at Queen's hospital in Burton will remain open
The accident and emergency section at Queen's hospital in Burton will remain open

A final business case for the link-up between Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is set to be submitted by February 2018 and a new trust will be formed under a new name.

Aside from Queen's Hospital in Burton and the Royal Derby Hospital being affected by the move, the merger would also encompass community hospitals, including Sir Robert Peel Community Hospital in Tamworth, Samuel Johnson Community Hospital in Lichfield and London Road Community Hospital in Derby.

The Burton and Derby hospital trusts merger so far

Final planning for the proposed merger is still being finalised and should be submitted and reviewed by the end of the year.

Earlier this year, in June, it was announced at a Healthwatch meeting that the outline business case for the partnership of the organisations, with a recommendation to merge, was approved.

Fears have been raised by many, particularly in Burton that the hospital could lose services, including the accident and emergency department.

Video Loading

Concerns were raised that the A and E department at Queen’s Hospital could be downgraded to an urgent care centre, meaning it would not operate 24-7. The Burton Mail, as well as the town’s MP Andrew Griffiths, joined the fight to keep it open.

At the Healthwatch meeting it was confirmed by bosses from both respective trusts, Helen Scott-South from Burton and Gavin Boyle from Derby, that the A and E department would not close.

A new trust will be formed, if the current plans go ahead, under a new combined title. The chairman will be John Rivers, the current chairman of both Derby and Burton trusts, and chief executive of Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Gavin Boyle will take up the same role at the new trust.

Looking for a job? There are thousands available at www.Fish4.co.uk