Merger Update

The Trust Boards and Councils of Governors of South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (SEPT) and North Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation NHS Trust (NEP) have approved the proposed merger of the Trusts. Both Trusts will be dissolved on 31 March 2017 and will be replaced by the new Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (or EPUT, for short) from 1 April 2017.

When making the decision to merge, the Trusts considered what best serves the long term interests of local people who use their services and those who care for them. The Trusts also took into account the green risk rating awarded to the proposals by their external regulator, NHS Improvement (NHSI). This is the best risk rating possible and follows a review by NHSI of the plans and the process over the past few months.

This is the first merger between two NHS Foundation Trusts under the current rules. It is a significant achievement by both Trusts to help secure the future provision of local mental health and community health services. It is an excellent outcome for local people who rely on local services. The result has only been made possible through the tremendous amount of hard work by very many of the Trusts’ staff, patients, carers and the support of local NHS and local authority partners.

There will be no immediate changes to services. It will be “business as usual” for service users and carers for the foreseeable future. Clinicians are working together with commissioners and people with lived experience to develop a proposed new clinical model for Essex-wide mental health services. Any changes to current services proposed by this model would be subject to formal consultation. In the meantime, we have established a Stakeholder Reference Group of service users and carers to work with us in a co-productive way. If you would like more information about this, please contact epunft.pals@nhs.net.