One of the country’s largest community health and social care providers launches after merger approved

The merger of two award-winning NHS Trusts has been approved by regulators bringing a range of benefits for patients and service users through the joining up of physical and mental health with adult social care.

South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (SSSFT) and Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent Partnership NHS Trust (SSOTP) have joined together to become Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT).

The merger creates one of the country’s largest integrated community health and social care organisations, bringing together around 8,500 staff and two nationally recognised healthcare providers, with the aim of improving access to physical and mental health, learning disability and social care services for patients and service users across Staffordshire and Shropshire.

MPFT’s ambition is to have one care plan for patients covering their physical and mental health and social care needs, reducing unnecessary duplication and enabling better care co-ordination to make it less confusing for patients when they are at their most vulnerable.

Neil Carr, Chief Executive of MPFT, said: “This is a hugely exciting day for health and social care in this area as we take this momentous step on the journey to creating fully integrated pathways of care for the communities we serve.

“Research shows that if you have a long-term health condition you are more likely to suffer from poor mental health as well. By integrating physical and mental health, as well as social care, we can deliver a much more streamlined journey for our patients and achieve better outcomes.

“MPFT brings together the considerable expertise, exceptional care and excellent practice delivered by the teams at SSSFT and SSOTP for their patients and service users every day, to create one new organisation – truly we are ‘better together’.”

Patients and service users are being assured there will be no ‘big bang’ change to the services people receive and no frontline staff are affected by the merger ensuring continuity of care.

Chair of MPFT Martin Gower added: “I am delighted that this day has arrived. A great deal of work has been going on behind the scenes to bring us to this point and we have already seen the benefits integration can bring with the two organisations working together in partnership over the last 12 months.

“Although we now offer a wider array of services and specialties as one organisation, MPFT is only one part of the wider health and social care system in Shropshire, Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, so we look forward to continuing to work closely with our partners across the area to produce the best possible outcomes for our communities.”