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New mental health and learning disability service for Bedfordshire

10 March 2015

It has been confirmed that East London NHS Foundation Trust (ELFT) will begin providing mental health, specialist learning disability and child and adolescent mental health services for Bedfordshire from 1 April 2015. The new service has been commissioned by Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG), in partnership with Central Bedfordshire Council and Bedford Borough Council and will be called the Bedfordshire Mental Health and Wellbeing Service.

The contract spans seven years and covers four areas; improving access to psychological therapies; adult community and inpatient mental health and specialist learning disability services; rehabilitation and recovery services; child and adolescent mental health services.  Jointly, BCCG and the two local authorities are investing nearly £43m in these services each year.

ELFT is a leading provider of mental health services and was the outstanding bidder for all four service areas for BCCG. The Trust provided assurance of its track record for delivering services of a high standard and its ability to drive change, transform services and achieve excellence. ELFT has also shown from its impressive record on staff development that it has a strong commitment to valuing and supporting its employees.

Dr Judy Baxter, GP and clinical director for mental health for BCCG said:

“The new contract means patients will receive care from services that are centred on their needs, with an emphasis on compassion and empathy. They will have improved access to Bedfordshire-wide services, with ELFT providing seamless care across adult and children’s mental health and related social care services.

“As part of our work to develop the new model of care we involved service users and carers, young people and Healthwatch. ELFT has demonstrated that it puts service users at the heart of everything it does and ensures that they have a strong voice in continuous service development.

“BCCG and its commissioning partners are committed to the ongoing development of mental health and learning disability services. This new contract enables us to be more efficient and to provide better value for money as well as high quality, safe, fit-for-purpose and sustainable mental health and social care services.”

Dr Robert Dolan, Chief Executive of ELFT, said:

“We are delighted at this opportunity to expand ELFT’s role further afield into Bedfordshire. The Trust has a strong track record for innovation and quality and we are excited to work with new colleagues with different perspectives, knowledge and experience. Our bid for the services has user and staff engagement at the heart and a commitment to delivering high quality care for all patients and their families. We look forward to pooling our collective expertise and skills to provide the best support to those in our care.”

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