uhertsHertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (HPFT), the main provider of mental health and learning disability services in the county, has become only the third mental health organisation in the country to be awarded University Trust status. 

In a move which HPFT believe will mark "the start of a new era for mental health and learning disability provision in Hertfordshire", the Trust has agreed a collaborative working agreement with the University of Hertfordshire.

As part of the agreement, the Trust and the University will work together to better support the mental health and learning disability community through improved training and clinical practice development.

Tom Cahill, chief executive of HPFT, said: "Becoming a university trust is a fantastic achievement and a wonderful opportunity for the Trust to further embed learning and research in practice.

"Being granted this accolade means that the university recognises the great work being done at the Trust and this partnership is recognition of the work that many of our staff have been doing with the university over many years. It also means they consider us a real learning organisation that they are happy to be formally associated with and linked to publically." 

The University and HPFT have previously worked together on a number of academic disciplines and research, but working together as a University NHS Trust will allow them to better support staff, students, service users, carers and the community as a whole.

Professor Quintin McKellar, vice-chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire, said: “The achievement of University Trust status is a key development for the mental health and learning disability community in Hertfordshire. This important initiative will facilitate joint research as well as providing strategic alignment across the two organisations to ultimately improve the experience of the communities that we serve.”

For more information visit www.herts.ac.uk