A new prospectus about the proposed merger has been published. Click here to download a copy.
Upcoming member and public events
The Trust is holding local meetings for our members and the public to find out the latest details on the proposed merger. To attend, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
3 March 2017, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Pier Avenue Baptist Church
117-119 Pier Avenue
Clacton on Sea, CO15 1NJ
3 March 2017, 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Colchester Borough Council (Grand Jury and West Committee Room)
33 Sheepen Road
Colchester, CO3 3WG
6 March 2017, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Harlow, CM20 3LH
9 March 2017, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
The Archer Community Centre
The national NHS Five Year Forward View asks Trusts and commissioners to work together more to improve services; a direction which is also strongly supported by the Essex Mental Health Review and the Essex Success Regime.
In 2015, the North Essex Partnership (NEP) and the South Essex Partnership Trust (SEPT) worked together on specific projects and were successful in a joint bid to provide a new Essex-wide substance misuse service. Options for closer collaboration were discussed at both Trusts’ Board meetings in September 2015. It was agreed to explore a potential merger, beginning with assessing whether this would be likely to increase benefits for patients, carers, staff and the wider community. Workshops were held with clinicians and managers from both Trusts. In December 2015, the Boards considered the exploration work and agreed to progress to “actively pursuing” a proposed merger.
No final decisions to merge the two Trusts have been made yet. Both Trusts are firmly committed to acting only in the best interests of the people using our services, their families and carers. This will be the deciding factor in any decisions. In the meantime, it remains “business as usual” for both Trusts for the foreseeable future.
An Outline Business Case (OBC) for merger was submitted to the NHS Foundation Trusts’ regulator (then called Monitor) in January 2016. A summary of this document is available on this page. Monitor’s review did not identify any problems that would stop proposals progressing to the next stage. The next step was for staff from both Trusts to carry out a comprehensive due diligence process. As a result, by the end of June 2016, the Trusts had shared a significant amount of information with each other about their services and organisations and identified any risks which may impact on the new organisation.
Following the review of the Outline Business Case for the proposed merger by Monitor (now called NHS Improvement), both Trust Boards agreed to progress to developing a Full Business Case. The Full Business Case demonstrates the anticipated benefits of the proposed merger – in particular, the benefits to patients and service users. These would include a better ability to recruit and retain key clinicians; better access to more specialist expertise; fewer out-of-area placements and so on. A public summary version of the Full Business Case will be available on this website from the end of January 2017.
The Full Business Case was approved by both Boards of Directors at their meetings at the end of November 2016 for submission to NHS Improvement for their review and rating. We expect to receive their response in March next year. Both Trust Boards and Councils of Governors will consider the outcome of this review when making their decisions at the end of March 2017. This timetable would allow for the proposed new organisation to be authorised and operational from April 2017.
We are continuing to engage with our stakeholders on aspects of merger planning. We engaged with staff and Members on the choice of name for the proposed new Trust – Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) – and in developing the proposed vision and values. We have also established a Stakeholder Reference Group of service users and carers from both Trusts to work with us in a co-productive way. If you are a service user or carer of someone who uses our services and would like to be involved with our Stakeholder Reference Group, please contact our communications team by email: email@example.com
We will continue to update this page with information on progress with the merger proposals. There are also monthly updates at our public Trust Board meetings.