I am writing to update you on our progress to merge Somerset Community Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust – and to invite you to give us your views on potential names for our new organisation.
We are merging our two organisations because we believe it is the best way to work together and improve patient services. We want to transform the way we deliver services to improve the health of the population of Somerset and better meet our populations’ mental and physical health needs now and in the future. Working together as two separate organisations we have made some tangible improvements for patients. For example we have improved care for people who are experiencing mental health crisis who attend A&E and we have introduced nurse associate roles as a way of tackling staffing gaps. However there are limits to how far we can go while we remain separate organisations. As part of our merger work, our clinicians are discussing how we can change patient pathways and integrate care.
Last month we received notification from NHS Improvement that we could move to the next stage of our merger. We aim to merge by 30 September 2019. It will be a merging of two equal partners to create an organisation with the focus to integrate community, mental health and hospital services and shared vision and values.
As part of the process to move towards a new organisation we need a name. We have looked closely at the guidance for naming NHS organisations, which requires, amongst other things, that our name is clear, logical and descriptive; includes the word NHS; and includes a geographic reference. Following engagement with a number of stakeholders of both organisations, we have two options – Somerset NHS Foundation Trust or Somerset Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust – and we welcome your feedback on them. You can give us your thoughts about this, and any other suggestions you might have about how we can improve our work together, at https://response.questback.com/sompar/alliance.
It is a very exciting time as we look at how we can improve pathways for patients and work together more effectively as one organisation in the future. We will keep you updated but please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like any further information.