Public Question Time Event about Proposed Merger of NHS Trusts

January 17, 2017

Plans are on the table for a proposed merger between North Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (NEP) and South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (SEPT) from April this year. Between them, the Trusts provide a range of mental health, community health and learning disabilities NHS services in Essex and Bedfordshire.

No final decisions to merge have been made yet. Both Trusts are firmly committed to acting only in the best interests of the people using their services, their families and carers. This will be the deciding factor in any decisions. In the meantime, it remains “business as usual” for services at both Trusts for the foreseeable future.

An open “Question Time”-style meeting about the merger plans is being held on Wednesday 25 January 2017 at 7.15pm at Holiday Inn, Brook Street, Brentwood CM14 5NF. There will be a short presentation then the meeting is open to questions. Members of the Trusts, their staff, patients, service users and carers and local people can question the Interim Board directors overseeing the merger proposals.

Booking is essential and it will be “first come, first served”. Email membership@sept.nhs.uk or call 0800 023 2059 to book. Unfortunately, due to limited space, people who turn up without booking are unlikely to be able to join the event. People who cannot attend may send in a question instead and the Trusts will try to answer it on the night.

Both Trusts believe strongly that a merger will bring benefits to patients and service users, including better ability to recruit and retain key clinical staff; better access to more specialist expertise; fewer out-of-area placements and much more.

Nigel Leonard, Joint Project Director for the proposed merger said: “We believe firmly that by bringing our two Trusts together we can work more effectively and efficiently and better safeguard frontline services for local people. We know any change can cause concerns and want to ensure that the people who use our services, in particular, fully understand the reasons behind the merger proposals and can ask us about them”.