Mental health bosses in Leeds have said a takeover of services in York and Selby is an exciting step forward.
The city’s mental health trust has won a £30m contract to treat patients in parts of North Yorkshire. It will be the first time a Leeds health body has provided services outside of the city.
Chris Butler, chief executive of Leeds Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust (LPFT), said: “We will be proud to be serving two of the main cities in Yorkshire.”
LPFT, which runs mental health and learning disability services across Leeds, has now been given the final go-ahead to run the same services in York, Selby, Tadcaster and Easingwold. The Leeds trust will also provide some specialist community care for the whole of North Yorkshire.
Previously mental health and learning disability services in North Yorkshire and York were provided by the area’s primary care trust. However under Government rules these organisations must only now plan and pay for healthcare, not provide it, so a new provider was needed.
LPFT will be known as the Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust after the takeover, which comes into effect next month. Around 1,000 staff will transfer to the new organisation.
Mr Butler said the merger would mean improvements in some areas, for example women from across the region would be able to access a parent and child unit in Leeds, where there is no equivalent in North Yorkshire.
It will also mean LPFT branching out into new areas, such as a new access service for Army veterans with mental health problems, based at Catterick Garrison.
“For us this is a positive response to changes which are happening in the NHS,” Mr Butler added.
“You can positively participate in things that are going on around you, or you can stand back, and this is a positive response.”
Members of the public and staff who are governors of LPFT have been involved in the process.
Frank Griffiths, chairman of LPFT, said: “We are very enthusiastic about it and we are keen to get going.
“It makes sense in a very broad way that we should do it.”