STRUCTURE: Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Partnership NHS Trust was launched as a new provider organisation on 1 September.

The partnership trust brings together around 5,000 staff from the former provider arms of NHS Stoke-on-Trent, NHS North Staffordshire and South Staffordshire Primary Care Trust.

Creation of the organisation, as part of the transforming community services programme, required formal approval from the health secretary, which was granted in August. The eventual aim is to become a community foundation trust.

NHS Stoke-on-Trent was originally one of six PCT provider arms – the others were Cumbria, Wirral, Knowsley, Tower Hamlets and Isle of Wight – granted permission by the previous government to remain linked to their commissioning arm but was forced to rethink by the current administration.

The trust’s chief executive Stuart Poynor said: “We are determined to transform the way care is delivered to patients and service users in Staffordshire and are in advanced talks with Staffordshire County Council to integrate health and social care which will give people one point of access to their care.”

He added: “Independence as a Trust brings many benefits to the way in which the organisation can work, with greater freedom to be flexible to local needs.  We can therefore be more responsive to what our service users tell us they want and need.”