The boards of NHS Wandsworth and St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust have given their approval for Community Services Wandsworth (CSW) to merge with St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust from 1st October 2010. The merger will offer local residents high quality, seamless healthcare from hospital to home.

St George’s Healthcare, named large hospital trust of the year in 2009 by Dr Foster, currently provides accident and emergency care, women’s and children’s services and care for older people to the local community in Wandsworth. The trust also provides specialist care for the most complex of injuries and illnesses, including trauma, neurology, cardiac care, renal transplantation, cancer care and stroke.

From October 2010, St George’s Healthcare will also provide a wide range of community services to children, adults and older people when CSW integrates with them. These services will be provided at Queen Mary’s Hospital (Roehampton), HMP Wandsworth, health centres and clinics, GP surgeries, schools and in people’s homes throughout Wandsworth.

These changes will not affect local GPs or healthcare providers. If outpatient care is needed, GPs will still refer patients to the hospital or healthcare centre of their choice.

David Astley, chief executive of St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “We are delighted to welcome CSW staff and services to the trust. This is an exciting change, one which will improve the healthcare choices available to local people by providing more care in their own homes, reducing unnecessary admissions to hospital and helping patients leave hospital as soon as it is safe for them to do so.”

Di Caulfeild-Stoker, Community Services Wandsworth’s chief operating officer, added: “This is a fantastic opportunity to develop a truly integrated health service for local residents, by building on the strengths of both organisations and enabling GPs and all clinical staff to provide the continuity of care we want for our patients. We look forward to working with our new colleagues to provide the highest quality of care to our community.”

Amanda Philpott, acting chief executive of NHS Wandsworth, said: “We are delighted to have got to the point of CSW becoming part of the St George’s Healthcare family. This will mean primary, community and hospital services working more closely together for people in Wandsworth, and it will be exciting to see the benefits for patients over the coming months and years.”

Integration will mean that CSW’s 1,200 workforce will transfer over to become employees of St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust. Key stakeholders, including GPs, clinicians, healthcare partners, patients, public and staff from both organisations have been actively engaged throughout the integration planning process.

Notes to editors

  • For more information, please contact Mike Frame at St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust via Outside working hours, please page the team by calling 0844 822 2888, leaving a short message and contact details for pager SG548.
  • These changes are part of the Department of Health’s Transforming Community Services programme. As part of the programme, all PCTs in England have been working towards separating provider services from commissioning primary care trusts with the aim of transforming the commissioning of community services and increasing patient choice and competition, which will improve health services and, in turn, the health of local people.
  • NHS Wandsworth began plans to separate out its provider arm in early 2009, carrying out staff and stakeholder engagement around the preferred model of externalisation and criteria for selection. Through this, Community Services Wandsworth became an Autonomous Provider Organisation (APO) in 2009, hosted by NHS Wandsworth, but with separate governance and finance arrangements from the PCT, as well as its own Board that acts as a sub-committee of NHS Wandsworth’s Board.
  • In December 2009, NHS Wandsworth’s board selected St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust as the preferred partner to join with Community Services Wandsworth at their public board meeting. The selection of St George’s Healthcare as a preferred partner followed a thorough engagement period with staff and stakeholders and a rigorous assessment process of the options for future organisational forms described in the Department of Health’s Transforming Community Services.
  • Community Services Wandsworth is responsible for providing a range of community nursing and therapy services across the borough. These services include:
    • District nursing
    • Health visiting
    • Specialist nursing
    • School nursing
    • Family planning
    • HIV services
    • Haemoglobinopathies
    • Community dentistry
    • Occupational therapy
    • Physiotherapy
    • Speech & language therapy
    • Dietetics
    • Rehabilitation services
  • In addition, Community Services Wandsworth’s corporate services provide key support functions of human resources, clinical governance, nursing, professional leadership, finance, information and IT.