At the Board meeting today the Board Chair described the financial position of the Royal Surrey as 'dire' and 'unsustainable'. The Royal Surrey is not of course alone in experiencing financial deficits. Whereas the proposed merger with Ashford and St Peters will result in financial savings these will not be evident for at least 18 months or more. Difficult decisions are in the offing albeit the Executive and Board are determined that. whatever is done. it will not compromise patient safety.