• Isle of Wight Trust announces partnership with mental health provider Solent Trust
  • IOWT’s mental health provision has been rated “inadequate” by the CQC since 2017 
  • The new partnership will be led by a joint transformation team 

Isle of Wight’s struggling integrated trust is partnering with a mainland provider in Hampshire, which will help it deliver mental health services.

Isle of Wight Trust, which is in care quality special measures, has partnered with mental health provider Solent Trust, which operates on the mainland nearby, as part of plans to redesign services on the island.

Although IOWT’s overall Care Quality Commission rating was upgraded from “inadequate” to “requires improvement” following an inspection over the summer, the trust’s mental healthcare provision has been rated “inadequate” since 2017.

While improvements were noted during this year’s CQC inspection, the trust remained in special measures after inspectors found eight breaches of “legal requirements” and highlighted multiple failings.

The IOW trust is unique in attempting to provide a range of acute, mental health and community services in a single organisation, for the island.

In a statement, IOWT said the partnership, confirmed this week, would “make a difference by focusing on providing care out of hospital, keeping people safe, well and independent at, or close to home”.

Plans to partner with a mainland provider were outlined in a new health and care strategy published by the island’s NHS and local authority leaders in September.

Community mental health services, which received the worst assessment of all the trust’s services, will be moved away from St Mary’s Hospital “so they are at the heart of the communities they serve”, according to the strategy.

Chief executive at IWOT Maggie Oldham said: “This partnership is great news for our staff, our service users and the wider Isle of Wight community.

“The additional support that Solent Trust brings will help us continue to transform mental health services on the Island and improve outcomes for local people.”

The partnership will be led by a joint transformation team across the two trusts, according to the announcement.

Chief executive at Solent, Sue Harriman, said: “This is a great opportunity to share best practice, as well as learning, for the benefit of all residents across Hampshire and the Island.

“We have a wealth of experience in providing mental health services to both children and adults.

“We strive to provide our service users with nurturing inpatient wards, with an overall focus of giving great out of hospital care to keep people at, or close to, home where possible.”