Lincolnshire is to host a major new development centre for mental health following a successful joint bid by the county’s mental health trust and the University of Lincoln.
The centre, one of only eight in the country, will be managed by a unique collaboration between the university and Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Trust.
Lincolnshire was awarded host status for the East Midlands region by the National Institute for Mental Health in England (NIMHE), after fighting off fierce competition from three other strong contenders.
Regional development centres are part of the Government’s plan to modernise mental health services and will drive forward new ways of thinking and working.
Working with health and social care staff, service users and carers and other stakeholders, the East Midlands regional development centre is set to bring about major changes in the way services are delivered and staff are trained.
Chief executive of Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Trust, Chris Slavin, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen to host this exciting development in mental health and social care in partnership with the University of Lincoln.
“This partnership model, which is the first of its kind in the country, will pave the way for new and innovative modes of working to give service users more choice in their care and treatment, as well as providing considerable development opportunities for staff.”
A consultation exercise is currently under way on the role and function of the new centre, which will be up and running by 1 April 2003. The contract is worth £500,000 per year.
Professor John Lockwood, Dean of the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at the University of Lincoln, commented: “The university has a well established commitment to work with the NHS on its modernisation agenda and, in particular, to contribute to the improvement in services to patients.
“To be chosen with one of our NHS Trust partners to take forward the modernisation of mental
health services in the East Midlands is therefore particularly pleasing and encouraging."
Note to press: Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Trust was formed on 1 June 2002 to replace Lincolnshire Healthcare NHS Trust. The Partnership combines social care and health services for people with a mental illness or learning disability.
CONTACT: Thirzah Wildman, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Trust, on 01522 554092
or Jez Ashberry, University of Lincoln, on 01522 886042