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NHS super-mergers ‘logical'

The merging of Guy's and St Thomas', King's College hospital and South London and Maudsley looks set to be agreed by all three trusts and could be completed as early as 2014, the Guardian reports.

The hospitals argue that as a combined organisation they could “achieve more and at a greater pace, allowing King's Health Partners to respond to a changing world and the future needs of patients".

The executive director of King's Health Partners and vice-principal at King's College London, Professor Sir Robert Lechler, told the Guardian: "There's no plans to phase anything out. Doesn't mean we won't, but there are no plans to ... but there may be some cases where we will consider consolidation."

Lechler envisages breaking one huge trust down into "mini trusts" specialising in different areas such child health and cancer, and with "devolved management structures".

He told the Guardian that the reason for the merger is “such an absolute no-brainer, because we now know 30% of our patients with rheumatoid arthritis are depressed and that rheumatologists, for all their talents, aren't the best at pickingthat up or managing it. Sixty percent of patients referred to a cardiologist with chest pain have nothing wrong with their heart. And that schizophreniashortens your life by something like 17 years – it's worse than lung cancer. And nowhere in the world is addressing that.

"We arefor the first time in years creating a logical landscape for healthcare".