• Two of south London’s mental health trusts investigating closer working
  • They insist it is not a precursor to merger
  • Regional director for London wrote to encourage them to explore joint working
  • South West London chief has taken top job at SLaM, with no permanent replacement appointed

Two mental health trusts have hired management consultants to look at how they can be more involved in joint working, HSJ can reveal.

South West London and St George’s Mental Health Trust and neighbouring South London and Maudsley Foundation Trust commissioned Deloitte after being encouraged to do so in a letter sent by London regional director Sir David Sloman.

However, the trusts insist the work is not a precursor to merger, and say the two organisations will continue to be separate legal entities.

SLaM is a widely-known research and training centre in the mental health field, with close ties to King’s College London and the Institute of Psychiatry. It provides some specialist national services.

Former SWLSTG chief executive David Bradley this month became chief executive of South London and Maudsley. The news of his appointment was announced in April but a permanent replacement has not been sought for the top job at SWLSTG.

The two trusts already share an HR director and an estates director, and work closely in a number of areas along with the other south London mental health trust, Oxleas FT, in the South London Partnership. It shares budgets and accountability for some service lines.

The news comes after the announcement of a similar arrangement withtwo north London mental health trusts and Monday’s announcement of a joint chief executive post across the acute and mental health trusts in outer north east London.

Sir David’s letter to the south London trusts and the terms of reference for Deloitte’s work have not been disclosed.

The review is due to report in the next two months.

In a joint statement, the trusts said: “We are exploring whether there are additional opportunities for increased joint working which could deliver clear benefits to our patients, carers, service users, staff and local communities.”


HSJ Transforming Mental Health Summit

The HSJ Transforming Mental Health Summit, taking place at the Hilton Leeds from 28-29 November 2019, unites 120+ senior figures from across the NHS, local authority and wider mental health service delivery landscape to discuss how to realise the visions of the NHS long-term plan and ensure successful local implementation of national priorities.

Held under the Chatham House Rule, attendees will quiz Paul Farmer and other national figures on general policy direction and co-develop solutions to their local challenges with NHS and local government colleagues from across the country. The summit is free to attend for senior NHS and public sector figures.

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