It has been an unusual start to my working week here at The Countess. My Monday began reading local newspaper coverage reporting that the hospital at which I am Chief Executive is to be merged with a neighbouring Trust. What’s more, the article went on to suggest that our hospital in Chester as well as others nearby will no longer be needed as care will instead be provided at a brand new hospital building in Ellesmere Port. I had been briefed that this story was in the offing and I feel it may be helpful for people to know that this coverage is the consequence of an informal or ‘leaked’ email, which we’ve not seen or been contacted about directly here at The Countess. It is not based on fact or an accurate reflection of any discussions and ambitions for the NHS that I’ve been involved in as part of my regular regional planning meetings.