UMass Memorial Health Care in the US has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Harrington Hospital for an undisclosed amount.

Harrington HealthCare System originally announced plans for the deal in January this year and a potential agreement signing in May was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Following the closing of the acquisition, Harrington will join three other hospitals under the UMass Memorial Health Care system.

The terms of the agreement will see UMass maintaining an acute care hospital at the Southbridge, as well as Webster campuses for five years. Also, Harrington will maintain a local community board.

UMass Memorial Community Hospitals president Doug Brown said: “We are pleased with the terms of this definitive agreement and are absolutely ecstatic about the opportunity to formalise our longstanding, excellent relationship with Harrington HealthCare.”

Brown noted that the five-year commitment did not mean that Harrington services will be closed after five years.

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Hospital executives expect the deal to procure additional investments in Harrington facilities, equipment and infrastructure.

Harrington CEO Ed Moore said: “The terms of the definitive agreement help protect access to local, high quality and affordable healthcare for our more than 200,000 patients, their family members and our community.

“At a time when the number of independent hospitals has decreased dramatically and healthcare has grown increasingly complex, being part of UMass Memorial’s comprehensive, regional system anchored by an outstanding academic medical centre is a clear positive for our community.”

Founded in 1931, Harrington Hospital is a non-profit institution that provides services across more than 25 communities in south central Massachusetts and northeastern Connecticut in the US.