• Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership Trust and Black Country Partnership FT appoint single CEO
  • Mark Axcell, chief for DWMHPT, will be joint chief for both trusts from January next year
  • Trusts plan to merge in 2020 

Two mental health trusts which are set to merge next year have appointed their future chief executive.

Mark Axcell New (002)

Mark Axcell

Mark Axcell, chief executive of Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership Trust, has also been appointed to lead Black Country Partnership Foundation Trust ahead of their upcoming merger.

The two trusts plan to merge in 2020, having submitted their full business case to NHS Improvement this month.

Current chief of Black Country Partnership FT Lesley Writtle has said she intends to retire following a 40-year career in the NHS. Mr Axcell will be taking up the joint role in January 2020. The trusts already have a joint chair, Jeremy Vanes.

Once merged, the new organisation will be the single provider of mental health, learning disabilities and community health services for the Black Country and West Birmingham Sustainability and Transformation Partnership.

The two trusts were previously involved in plans to merge with Birmingham Community Healthcare FT as well. However, this plan was dropped in March 2018, due to national bodies’ concerns that it would have created a trust spanning two STPs.

Dudley and Walsall is currently rated “good” by the Care Quality Commission, while BCPFT is rated “requires improvement”.

Mr Vanes said: “In Mark we have a leader who will drive us forward as we come together and work towards becoming an outstanding organisation. I look forward to continuing our work with him to help shape the future of the trust.”