Greater Manchester organisation steps in to run mental health services in Wigan

Mental health services across the borough are being put in the hands of a new provider.

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 3:47 pm

On April 1 the services provided in Wigan by North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust will transfer to Greater Manchester Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH).

It comes as North West Boroughs is set to merge with Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust later this year.

GMMH is the largest specialist provider of in-patient and community mental health services in Greater Manchester and already runs a small number of services for the borough’s residents.

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Prof Craig Harris, accountable officer for NHS Wigan Borough CCG

The move will make it easier for local mental health services to work with Greater Manchester organisations and support the delivery of both the Greater Manchester Mental Health and Well-being Strategy and the Wigan Borough Locality Plan.

GMMH will work with Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to continue to bring mental and physical health services closer together.

Patients should see very little difference in their day-to-day interactions with services, with the same staff and teams supporting them.

Prof Craig Harris, accountable officer for NHS Wigan Borough CCG, said: “I practised as a mental health nurse for many years and so am very aware of the importance of high-quality mental health services.

“North West Boroughs have done a fantastic job of providing our mental health services and I would like to thank their team. However, with the change to their organisation, now is the right time for our mental health services to move forward with a new provider.

“Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS FT have a proven record of delivering high-quality mental health services for our neighbours in Greater Manchester and they are often creative in their approach. I am confident that together we can make sure that the transfer is smooth for patients, but more importantly that we can transform local mental health services. This will be even more vital as we start to come out of pandemic with many more people struggling with their mental health than ever.”

Neil Thwaite, chief executive of Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to welcome Wigan borough mental health services to GMMH. An incredible amount of work has taken place to ensure a safe landing for staff, service users and carers to ensure there is no disruption to services.

“We are looking forward to meeting people over the coming weeks and months and working together to provide high standards of care and deliver the ambition of the Healthier Wigan Partnership.”

Simon Barber, chief executive at North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We have delivered mental health services to Wigan and Leigh communities since our trust was founded in 2002 and, while they have gone from strength to strength, this is the right time and the right decision for patients for care to be delivered alongside other Greater Manchester boroughs.

“I am incredibly proud of our services and the dedicated, compassionate people who deliver them. I have no doubt they will thrive in their new organisation, bringing many benefits for patients.”

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