CCP merger cases

The CCP reviews proposed mergers between NHS-funded healthcare providers to ensure that they are in the best interests of patients and taxpayers. There needs to remain sufficient choice and competition to ensure high standards of care and good value for money.

The CCP will advise the Secretary of State or Monitor on whether a merger should be allowed to proceed, whether certain conditions should apply or if the merger should be prohibited.

We encourage all parties considering a merger to seek informal guidance from us at an early stage on whether the merger is likely to raise competition issues.

Qualification criteria

Mergers involving NHS Trusts, PCTs or Foundation Trusts must be formally assessed by the CCP where the merger involves:

  • Acute or foundation trusts where the turnover of the combined entity is more than 70 million
  • Community care providers where the turnover of the combined entity is more than 35 million
  • Primary care providers where the turnover of the combined entity is more than 15 million.

The merger case process

The merger case process is governed by the CCP's Rules of Procedure and merger guidelines. We have adopted a two-phase approach to assessing mergers. In the first phase, we will consider whether to advise that a merger be cleared or whether a more detailed second phase of assessment is required.

The first-phase assessment will be completed within 40 working days, and a second-phase assessment will be completed within 80 working days.

Stages and deadlines

Stage Deadline
Merger submitted to CCP for formal assessment Day 0
Notice of acceptance published Within 10 working days
Phase-one assessment Within 40 working days
Phase-two assessment (where required) Within 80 working days

The timetable for a merger case may be suspended by the CCP to allow for the provision of further information, or it may be extended with the approval of the relevant sponsor.

Read the guidance document

We have published draft guidelines that set out:

  • The merger case process
  • Our methodology for assessing the patient and taxpayer impact of proposed mergers
  • The information that should be provided to the CCP by parties to a proposed merger.

Read the merger inquiry guidelines document

Department of Health NHS Monitor