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Our future options

This is an exciting time for the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust – we have a new strategy, and ambitious plans to develop and grow our services, and education and training offer nationally and internationally.

We are also committed to improving community support for children, young people and adults struggling with mental ill health, learning disabilities and autism, and having a clear understanding of needs to provide services that work better for those individuals who access them.

To strengthen and secure the long-term future of thought leadership and national and international influence in innovation, leadership and education in mental health and emotional wellbeing, we are formally inviting expressions of interest from organisations who wish to be considered as a merger partner for the Trust. This is following Board agreement, and discussion with both NHS England London Region and North Central London Integrated Care System colleagues.

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An overview

We are a specialist NHS mental health trust with a focus on training and education as well as providing a full range of mental health services and therapies for children and their families, young people and adults.

We are looking for a merger partner who can strengthen our community and specialist offer, as well as the academic nature of our organisation, for the benefit of service users and students accessing our services. Ideally, a partner who has strengths and innovative ideas across all these areas and can hit the ground running with us to deliver our ambitious plans.

Our staff, patients, service users and students are at the centre of decision-making in how we consider future options for the Trust. In line with this commitment, we have launched a comprehensive engagement plan to capture views and we are working closely with our clinical, education and research leadership teams in this process.

Over the next few months, we will be asking our stakeholders including our patients and carers, students, staff, alumni, local community, health partners and political leaders to share their views with us.

NHSE London will oversee the decision-making process, and we hope to determine our merger partner by June this year, completing the merger in 2025.

Process timescales

January 2024

We wrote to prospective partners with a detailed questionnaire

April 2024

We are holding engagement sessions with our potential partner

June 2024

The board will work with staff to review the bids and undertake further due diligence

By July 2025

We aim to establish the new organisation by July 2025

We anticipate that a preferred partner will be selected by the end of July 2024. 

Once a preferred partner has been selected, we will work up a timeline for the implementation of a merger. This is likely to take at least two years from the start of the project. 

Frequently asked questions

Why are we merging?

Through the NHS Oversight Framework process we have reviewed our current model as a standalone Foundation Trust in order to set our organisation on a more sustainable footing for the future, and to strengthen our clinical and educational services for the benefit of our patients and students.

We are working towards a merger with another organisation to strengthen us for the future.

Will my service or care be affected?

The merger is not about changing any of our clinical services.

It is about changing the organisations that deliver those services, to ensure we are sustainable, and to create chances to grow and improve.

To change any services would require a different type of consultation.

If any of our services change in the future we will run the right kind of consultation at that point and let the right patients know how to get involved.

Are we moving location?

We do not have a plan to move at the moment. The merger will include looking at the buildings we use, and the buildings of our potential merger partners.

How will this impact students starting programmes that are several years long?

As a higher education provider registered with the Office for Students, we are committed to supporting students through their studies with us and enabling them to reach their target academic awards. We have a student protection plan which details how we would manage a situation of the Trust merging with another organisation. In this case there would be a consultation prior to the merger which would include student input.

If the merged organisation was not able to continue to offer existing education provision, the Trust would seek to ensure that there is a teach-out prior to courses closing. A teach-out means that courses will not recruit any new students but they will remain open until all existing students have completed and received their awards.

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