Devon Hospitals formalise alliance

Published: 16 March 2021

Liz Davenport
Liz Davenport
Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust have agreed to form a Strategic Alliance which will see us collaborating more closely to secure sustainable, high-quality patient care for our populations into the future. The Trusts have set out our agreement by signing a Memorandum of Understanding.

This aligns to the recent Government white paper which heralds a new, collaborative approach to delivering healthcare amongst providers.

Instead of working independently this approach will enable us to find new ways to connect, communicate and collaborate so that the health and care needs of local people are met.

TSDFT, RD&E and NDHT have been working together informally for some time as part of the SEND (Southern, Eastern, Northern Devon) acute network. We have strengthened our collaboration over the past 12 months as we have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and worked to recover elective care.

We want to take the opportunity to build on this experience and make sure we are joined up in our thinking as we respond to some of the significant programmes of work underway, including joined up digital strategies, the development of the Integrated Care System across Devon which will bring health and care providers together, and how the investment in infrastructure at both TSDFT and NDHT as part of the Government’s Health Infrastructure Plan would best be used.

Liz Davenport, chief executive of TSDFT and Suzanne Tracey, chief executive of NDHT and RD&E, said: “We are delighted to be entering into this Strategic Alliance, working together to develop shared and aligned strategies to achieve our vision across SEND.

“The Strategic Alliance will see us collaborating on all strategic and transformation opportunities and all opportunities for incoming investment. We will be considering our resources, workforces, and challenges together and making decisions in the best interests of the whole population.

“We are initially focussing on the delivery of high quality, sustainable acute care for our populations.”

As a result of this development, we are asking our staff to work together across SEND when considering any future provision of healthcare services. 

The Trusts are already successfully collaborating. For example, we have worked together across our acute medicine, obs & gynae and urology services to ensure access to high quality care for our patients through sharing our resources.

This collaboration has supported our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have worked collectively to staff the Nightingale Hospital and have supported each other through offering our beds to one another to ensure the best possible care for our patients.

We are currently working on a SEND approach to pathology which will strengthen our services across the network in the interests of patient care.

As the alliance develops, we will provide regular updates on how the partnership is making a difference to patient care.