CF supported the merging of two acute trusts in the midlands and undertook a review of their cardiology services to enable integration of the two departments across multiple sites. The team analysed local data and combined this with qualitative information from interviews with operational and clinical leads to create a comprehensive set of opportunities that could be realised by the new organisation once the services were combined


  • A data request was provided prior to the project commencing and local and national datasets were collated from over 20 sources
  • Over 15 staff from across the cardiology departments, business information, finance and HR were engaged in the project
  • 22 opportunities were identified to improve clinical quality, operational effectiveness and financial efficiency
  • The findings were presented to a combined group of executives from the two trusts to take forward to opportunities into implementation planning
  • CF developed approaches for automating the analysis to develop rapid reports for further specialities and a scalable approach to identifying opportunities in acute mergers

Issue: How can two acute trust integrate effectively and identify opportunities

The merging of the trusts had been agreed with regulators but required detailed plans for the integration of each speciality in the organisation. The services across the two trusts have disparities and there needed to be a comprehensive understanding of the delivery of services.

Outcome: Identified clear opportunities for merging and created a comprehensive fact pack

Data from the organisations was compiled and contrasted to give a view of the performance of the organisations across the areas of service delivery, service quality, workforce and finance. A baseline position was identified for each of these areas and iterated with clinical and operational leads to understand the additional bespoke analysis required. The opportunities gave financial and operational targets that could be sought through a variety of means.

The detailed fact pack was provided to the executive leadership team and also gave recommendations for the future steps which would need to be taken to realise the opportunities and a requirement to create an implementation plan which would allow for the newly merged trust to create a cardiology service that took the best work from the two precursor departments.

Methodology: The project combined data analysis with a local perspective

Data sources, both public and local, were analysed and the results of this analysis were tested with leads from the relevant services to iterate the findings and understand the local perspective. Further qualitative information was gathered through a series of interviews with service leads, which generated a requirement for deep-dive analysis to support the areas where staff felt the greatest opportunity could present itself.

  • Data gathering: A tailored data request was issued to the trusts prior to the starting of the on the ground team and was combined with the data available from the extensive national and public NHS resources
  • Initial analysis of the data: the data received was quickly interpreted and formulated into outputs that displayed the headlines of what the data was showing
  • Testing the data with local leads and interviews: the early analysis acted as a baseline for conversations with clinical and operational leads who provided a local view and interpretation of the data, as well as additional information. The interviews furthered served to understand the challenges and successes of the local departments and the key wins which would be able to be harnessed and maintained after the merger
  • Further bespoke analysis: iterating with the local leads gave the chance to understand their perspective and undertake analysis to investigate their hypothesis and build towards a complete synthesis of quantitative and qualitative information

Results: A clear baseline of current services and the opportunity for the merged service to build on the success of those previous

The final report gave the executives an understanding of their services to enable data-driven decision making and for the aspirations of the merging departments to be articulated at the highest level. The report set out the opportunities to create a cardiology department which could lead the field in operational, clinical and financial effectiveness.

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Catchment areas have been plotted based on travel time to the nearest hospital site, the combined trust will have a catchment area of approximately 551,000
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Average time of discharge