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Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust will take over responsibility for the delivery of Herefordshire’s mental health and learning disability services from April 2020.

The decision follows a strengthening of relationships and links across Herefordshire and Worcestershire’s mental health and learning disability teams in recent years and has been agreed by current provider Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust and the local Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Since 2015, organisations and services across Herefordshire and Worcestershire have been working in partnership to improve local healthcare services and address known local challenges in a more collaborative and coordinated way. Within mental health services this has led to improvements in the care available to support parents and families across both counties, such as dementia care.

The new arrangement from April 2020 will continue to deliver local services in Herefordshire, and teams are currently working together to transform the support available in the community as one of a handful of national pilots. Staff are also talking to local communities to develop the first joint Herefordshire and Worcestershire Mental Health Strategy which will be published next year.

This decision will bring more opportunities for teams to build on these existing partnerships to strengthen local services and improve patient care.

Sarah Dugan, Chief Executive at Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, said: “We are delighted to take on the leadership of Mental Health and Learning Disability services in Herefordshire from April. We believe that having one provider for mental health and learning disability services across Herefordshire and Worcestershire will increase our resilience, particularly in the smaller specialist services, whilst enabling us to continue to share and develop best practice and promote high quality services in local communities. We are really looking forward to working with the staff in Herefordshire and building on the relationships we have developed over the last few years so together we continue to deliver a high standard of mental health and learning disability care to the people of Herefordshire.”

Paul Roberts, Chief Executive of Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Our Trust (formerly known as 2gether NHS FT) has delivered Herefordshire Mental Health services since 2011 and Learning Disability services since 2017. Since then, our colleagues have provided ever improving standards of care and treatment, and we are very proud to have done so. The time has come, however, for services to be more directly aligned with regional boundaries. This will ensure closer integration and better opportunities to make further developments in the interests of the people who use the services. We are working closely with Worcestershire Health and Care Trust to manage a smooth and successful handover over the coming months.”

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