First integrated acute, community and social care trust created

Wye Valley NHS Trust has become the first organisation in England to provide integrated acute, community and social services previously provided separately by a local authority, acute trust and primary care trust.

The trust was created on 1 April, and joins up hospital services from Hereford Hospitals Trust, community health services previously provided by NHS Herefordshire, and adult social care from Herefordshire Council.

It will have an estimated annual turnover of around £160m and employ around 2,500 staff. Martin Woodford, formerly chief executive of Hereford Hospital Trust, has taken over the same role at the new organisation.

The changes in Hereford are part of a raft of reorganisations and renaming from 1 April, as primary care trusts shed their provider arms in line with the government’s deadline.

These include Oxford and Buckinghamshire Mental Health Foundation Trust, which has changed its name to Oxford Health Foundation Trust, following the integration of Community Health Oxfordshire, and Spectrum Community Health, which has launched as a social enterprise providing the community services previously hosted by NHS Wakefield District.

However, as revealed by HSJ last month, at least 15 transfers involving foundation trusts have been delayed due to capacity issues at the regulator Monitor, which carries out risk assessments for the plans.

The transfer of NHS Tower Hamlets’ community services to Barts and The London Trust will not take place till 1 July, and nor will transfer of NHS Peterborough’s adult services to Cambridgeshire Community Services Trust and its learning disability services to Peterborough City Council.

NHS Haringey in London has also reported that the transfer of its children’s community services has been delayed.

Board papers said there had been delays to the planned transfer of children’s services from the current provider, Great Ormond Street Hospital, also in London, to Whittington Health – an integrated care organisation based around the Whittington Trust.

The board papers state: “Despite best efforts it will now be impossible to effect the transfer on 1 April. A contingency plan has been put in place for a later transfer date.”