Two of Derbyshire’s NHS Foundation Trusts, which provide physical and mental health care to the county’s residents, have signalled an initial intention to merge and form a single body, in order to provide better care to local patients.
Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (DHCFT) and Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust (DCHS) have recently considered different ways in which the two Trusts can collaborate in order to provide greater benefits to local people, in respect of continuity of care and the alignment of physical and mental health needs.
On Thursday (28 October) the two Trust Boards agreed to further explore a preferred option for the two organisations to fully merge, through acquisition, with DCHS being the acquiring organisation. Whilst it is required that one Trust leads the transactional process in this way, the spirit of the collaboration would be to merge and create a new, single organisation.
Tracy Allen, Chief Executive of Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust explains:
“This decision from both Trust Boards marks a significant development for the people of Derbyshire, as we seek to look beyond current organisational structures to provide the best care we can to local residents.
“We are aware that many people currently receive care from both organisations and there are clear benefits in aligning our services to make sure people receive consistent and joined up care, to support both their physical and mental health needs.
“The options we have considered to date have been based on a clinical case for change and we look forward to further exploring this recommendation with our stakeholders to ensure the right decision is taken for the people of Derbyshire.
Ifti Majid, Acting Chief Executive for Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said:
“This agreement by both Boards aims to result in genuine parity of esteem across Derbyshire, treating physical and mental health conditions equally.
“The Trusts are committed to the creation of a new organisation, balanced to reflect the scope and specialties of the services provided, through the creation of a shared culture and values.”
This initial agreement by both Trust Boards signals a joint commitment to further explore this recommendation in more detail, through the development of an Outline Business Case and then Full Business Case. The Trusts will be seeking the active involvement of their governors and stakeholders during this next phase.