NERA Analysis Results in Phase 1 Clearance for Major UK Hospital Merger: Regulator Praises High-Quality Benefits Case

04 September 2017

NERA Economic Consulting, a leading global provider of economic advice and analysis in business, legal, and regulatory matters, supported the executive team of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, their external legal advisors Pinsent Masons LLP, and the UK health regulator to achieve a Phase 1 clearance from the UK competition authority for a major hospital merger.

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) notes that "This is the first time the CMA has cleared an NHS hospital merger on the basis of patient benefits at phase 1 and reflects the quality of the benefits case put forward... The hospitals involved presented clear evidence and a well reasoned case."

Birmingham is the second largest city in the UK by population. The proposed merger involves the two largest acute hospital Trusts in the city, serving over a million patients annually from four hospital sites. Given the sizes and close proximity of the merging Trusts, the CMA was required to assess whether the merger raised concerns about reducing competition and choice for patients in Birmingham and its surrounding areas. The merging parties, with the support of NERA and the legal advisors, developed robust evidence to show that benefits to patients would outweigh any losses to competition and choice. The CMA accepted this evidence that the substantial patient benefits resulting from the merger would outweigh competition concerns.

The NERA team was led by competition economists in the London office, Grant Saggers and Amanda Teo.

About NERA

NERA Economic Consulting ( is a global firm of experts dedicated to applying economic, finance, and quantitative principles to complex business and legal challenges. For more than six decades, we have been creating strategies, studies, reports, expert testimony, and policy recommendations for government authorities and the world’s leading law firms and corporations. We bring academic rigor, objectivity, and real-world industry experience to issues arising from competition, regulation, public policy, strategy, finance, and litigation.

NERA’s clients value our ability to apply and communicate state-of-the-art approaches clearly and convincingly, our commitment to deliver unbiased findings, and our reputation for quality and independence. Our clients rely on the integrity and skills of our unparalleled team of economists and other experts backed by the resources and reliability of one of the world’s largest economic consultancies. Continuing our legacy as the first international economic consultancy, NERA serves clients from major cities across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.