integrationTwo mental health trusts in Manchester have come together to create a single organisation to provide services to adults in the Greater Manchester area.

On January 1, Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust and Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust joined together to become Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. 

The new trust will provide care for people living in Bolton, Salford, Trafford and the City of Manchester, with specialist services covering Greater Manchester and beyond.

NHS Improvement’s executive regional managing director, North, Lyn Simpson said: “I am pleased to see that the months of work to join the two trusts is now coming to fruition. Service users will see the benefits of the new trust’s joint expertise early in 2017 as it begins to make planned improvement. 

“My thanks go to the Boards and the staff at both trusts for their professionalism in bringing together the two sets of services. I also thank our partners in the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership for their invaluable support.” 

It is anticipated that the integration of the two organisations will bring benefits to patients, carers, families, staff and partners, including:

A new section 136 suite – a designated place of safety for people experiencing a mental health crisis – in the City of Manchester

Revised service models designed aimed at providing 24/7 community and home-based care for all ages, as well as a reduction in the need for patients to receive treatment out of the Greater Manchester area

Funding for frontline voluntary organisations and third sector partners to develop innovative practice in order to increase service quality

A commitment to pay all staff across the new trust the ‘Living Wage’

Environmental and property improvement schemes across the trust designed to improve patient experience

Enhanced research and development into mental health, including developing innovative treatment solutions for patients.

Bev Humphrey, chief executive of Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: "I am absolutely delighted that Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust is joining forces with our neighbours and colleagues from Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust.

“Both organisations have significant strengths and by coming together, there is so much we can all achieve in the years to come, that will improve the health, wellbeing and life chances of the people we serve.

“I would like to thank all the people from both organisations and our partners, who have worked incredibly hard to make this happen.”

Lord Peter Smith, chair of Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “We have made a clear commitment as part of devolution to develop a new approach to mental health services.  

“We will do this by placing the individual and families at the heart of the system and integrating mental health with other health and community services. The improvements being made as the new arrangements come into being are an essential step in our transformation programme.

“The consequences of poor mental health are a growing problem for Greater Manchester and it is imperative we tackle the root causes to ensure a brighter and more prosperous future for the region and, importantly, the individuals and families affected.”

In a joint statement, Manchester's Clinical Commissioning Groups and Manchester City Council said: “We look forward to working with Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust to deliver strong and effective mental health services, tailored to the needs of local people. 

“We have a strong history of partnership working in the city and the trust will play a key role in this, ensuring that responsive mental health services are at the heart of our plans to create a healthier Manchester.”