The Chairs and Chief Executives of South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (SSSFT) and Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent NHS Partnership Trust (SSOTP) are entering into an ‘enhanced partnership’ arrangement to ensure improved patient care for the people of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
A statement of support between the two trusts sets out a joint commitment to the integration of their social care, community, mental health and learning disability services, and the development of ‘local care hubs’ (a network of GP practices representing a population of 30-50,000, with community services wrapped around them). This can be summarised as a commitment to develop better ways to sustain general practice and enhance primary and community care.
All of this is in line with the emerging priorities of ‘Together We’re Better’. This is the regional transformation programme and involves key partners across the health and social care sector. It makes sense that joining up our social care, community healthcare, mental health and learning disability services, is also the right thing to do for the people of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, who will experience more joined-up provision as a result.
The next stage of the partnership is to create a project board under the leadership of David Pearson, the Chair of SSOTP. This project board will further explore the benefits of a formal alignment between the two organisations.
Martin Gower Chair of SSSFT said:
‘We are delighted to be working closer with SSOTP. Through this partnership, we believe we can put local people at the centre of a system that delivers genuine integrated care. We can learn from each other; and there is a collective leadership commitment to ensure that the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent mental health, community and learning disability services are sustainable into the future’.
David Pearson Chair of SSOTP added:
‘The Board of the Partnership Trust is committed to doing the right thing for the people of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. Joining up social care with physical and mental health will ensure that a person is supported as an individual and not as a set of conditions. People will have clarity about who provides their services and it will bring seamless services a step closer. It will also deliver better value for money for the tax-payer.’