HPFTSpecialist learning disability health services for people in Buckinghamshire, currently provided by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, will transfer to Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (HPFT) from September 1. 

In preparation, HPFT has been working in collaboration with Southern Health towards transforming specialist health services, in line with the national programme, for more than a year. The new contract with HPFT aims to deliver care in the way that people want.

This will include more specialist healthcare services for people closer to home, which will offer more intensive support in the community and reduce the need for hospital admission. In addition, as part of the new contract, there will be a strengthened Intensive Support Team, which will increase support in the community. Over time, this will move from a 5-day to a 7-day service.

Zita Calkin, senior commissioner for learning disabilities & autism at Buckinghamshire CCGs, said: “We are very excited to be working with Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust. The Trust is well respected for its expertise in specialist services for people with learning disabilities. It was a partner organisation in the implementation of Transforming Care Plans, under Hertfordshire’s Fast Track status.  

“The benefits of the move include specialist LD inpatient beds provided within a larger, state-of-the-art centre, meaning people will have access to a wider range of specialist support and facilities while in hospital, and this is combined with greater support in the community, with a focus on early intervention and preventative work to avoid crisis. The service will also continue to provide quality specialist health services to people in the community, whilst also promoting reasonable adjustments across primary and secondary care to keep people well.”

Since July 1, changes have already started taking place which mean people who require an inpatient stay for assessment and treatment now go to Dove Ward, Kingfisher Court, a specialist inpatient unit at HPFT. Previously, inpatients were admitted to The Ridgeway Centre in High Wycombe, a part of Southern Health.