• Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust and Camden and Islington Foundation Trust pledge closer working
  • Arrangement will look at joint working on three or four clinical areas
  • Shared back office services in one or two areas also being considered

Two London trusts have entered into a “strategic alliance”, they announced this week.

Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust has pledged “closer collaboration” with neighbouring Camden and Islington FT.

Together the two organisations provide the mental health care for the whole of the North Central London Sustainability and Transformation Partnership.

In a joint statement, the trusts said they were looking to collaborate on three or four service areas and were exploring the possibility of “working at greater scale in one or two corporate areas”.

The trusts stressed they would remain “distinct organisations with individual authority and control”.

Barnet, Enfield and Haringey chief executive Jinjer Kandola said: “As well as improved patient care, the benefits for our staff will be significant. It will help with recruitment and retention because we will be able to share our talent between our organisations, offering joint staff rotation, opportunities for staff development and career progression.”

The scheme appears similar to the South London Partnership across three mental health trusts on the other side of the river. Within SLP, South London and Maudsley FT, Oxleas FT and South West London and St George’s Mental Health Trust share some back office functions and run a joint forensic and tier four child and adolescent service.

Camden and Islington FT chief executive Angela McNab said: “Our two trusts have a successful track record already in terms of collaboration. BEH leads on the North London Forensic Consortium, a group of five providers working as one system to reduce out-of-area placements; whilst C&I runs the new women’s psychiatric intensive care unit at St Pancras Hospital for the north central London area.”

The two trusts are also involved in an ambitious scheme to transfer Moorfields Eye Hospital from Old Street to St Pancras. The move would involve transferring some of Camden and Islington’s services to a site further north, possibly to land owned by Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust.

NHS regional director for London Sir David Sloman described the proposed alliance as “hugely positive”, adding: “We know already that having a shared vision and working collaboratively together in this way can deliver major results and significantly improve the lives of the local population”.