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Community and mental health services for Southampton, Portsmouth and parts of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.


Frequently asked questions

Read more about our plans to bring together community, mental health and learning disability services below.

A key priority for the NHS in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight is ensuring that communities have equal access to services and have the opportunity to achieve the same outcomes. We know that over the coming years the demand for community and mental health services will increase. Our physical and mental health services are already responding to increasing need, both in terms of the number being referred and the complexity of issues they present with. Against this backdrop, continuing to improve and transform service provision, as well as having an even greater focus on integration between mental and physical health, is vitally important. 

In January 2022, the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care System commissioned an independent review of community and mental health services. The purpose of the review was to understand how to best meet the current and future demands of our local populations. The review looked carefully at the evidence and involved a range of clinicians, partners and stakeholders, as well as existing insight and feedback from people who use local community and mental health services. 

The review resulted in five key recommendations which are being taken forward in a joint programme of work.

One of the review’s key recommendations is that a new organisation be formed, to bring together all NHS community and mental health services provided in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, including services provided by Solent NHS Trust, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, Isle of Wight NHS Trust and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, that delivers Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in Hampshire.

The review makes the case that bringing together our services in this way would improve consistency of care between these services and organisations which are currently responsible for different parts of the care pathway. It would also improve equity of access to care. We believe that working even more closely together is the right approach for the benefit of our patients, their families and communities. The rationale for the recommendation is aligned with, and builds upon, the steps we have already taken to work more closely together. And, it will further enable our staff to work together to best meet the needs of the people they support.

Our ambition is to create a new organisation by April 2024. The creation of a new organisation will be a starting point from which we will continue to develop our services – it won't all be done by day one. We are working with service users, Healthwatch, and the local authority to help develop our priorities. 

There are some key decision points along the way, including development of a Strategic Outline Case and then a Full Business Case, which will both be considered by our Boards, the Integrated Care Board and NHS England.


There are some key decision points along the way, including development of a Strategic Outline Case and then a Full Business Case, which will both be considered by our Boards, the Integrated Care Board and NHS England.

This is about providing better outcomes and more equitable services. There may be opportunities to do things more efficiently as one organisation and managing the cost is important, but this is not the driving reason behind this work. 

We expect that these changes will not directly impact the vast majority of staff.

With the national workforce challenges, we need more, not fewer, frontline staff and creating a single organisation will not change this.

It is completely natural for changes like this to bring feelings of uncertainty and we will work with staff to bring as much clarity as possible and to involve people in this process.

Please keep eye on our website and social media channels. We will be sharing information about how you can hear more and get involved.

A clinical delivery group has been set up as one of the workstream steering groups, led by senior clinicians from all the organisations involved. This brings together operational and clinical executives from across Solent NHS Trust, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, Isle of Wight NHS Trust and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. The group will support clinical strategic transformation to improve consistency of care and equity of access.

The review was just the beginning of a detailed programme of work and we are now undertaking an extensive engagement with our communities, colleagues working in local community and mental health services and partners. 

Involving our patients, carers and families in this process is important and we are developing a detailed engagement plan to ensure we do this effectively.

Conversations have already started with our local patient and carer groups and with our community partners. We will continue to build upon this work in the coming months.

We are already talking about the great work that happens within all the organisations and thinking about what learning we can take from one another.

We have set up a working group that will specifically work to ensure that we capture and bring forward what's best about each Trust and build upon this as we work more closely together.

Absolutely. Local care is central to patient outcomes and this will not change if we become a single organisation.

Many colleagues in our organisations will have memories of previous organisational integrations. It is very important that we learn from these lived experiences, as well as taking the positives, and it is integral for us to learn from other changes that have happened in the wider NHS.

On day one, you will continue to receive the same services from the same teams.  The only difference you should notice when we merge is our new name.

As a newly merged organisation, we will have opportunities to improve access to our existing services.

Making the best use of our estate is a key NHS priority and something we are already looking at. This work will continue if we become a single organisation.

Any estates changes will be led by the clinical needs of the organisation and enable our staff to work in the best way.

One of the recommendations in the independent review, which was undertaken to explore these proposals, was to review the use of community beds across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

This will be explored further as part of the next phases of the programme, working in partnership with colleagues from the Integrated Care Board and local acute partners.

We are working across our organisations and with our colleagues in the Integrated Care Board to ensure there is enough resource to carry out this programme of work in a way which does not impact on funding for frontline services. We are clear that the benefits of closer working far outweigh any potential costs.

One of the recommendations from the Community and Mental Health Services Review is to establish a more strategic approach to the funding of community, mental health and learning disability services to address current inequalities.

We will be working with our Integrated Care Board colleagues to take this recommendation forwards.

During the process, services will continue as normal. There is a dedicated programme to manage the changes in a way which minimises the impact on day-to-day services.

We will be carrying out this work as a coming together of equal partners, taking what's best from all organisations and building upon this. No one organisation will be leading this work.

Technically and practically, when organisations come together like this, it can be done as a merger or by having the underlying framework of one organisation remaining in place and the other organisations' services joining onto this. This second option is much more practical, cost effective, and can be done more swiftly. When there is a Foundation Trust involved, the coming together of organisations is transacted as an acquisition by the Foundation Trust.   

Whatever the technical approach of the transaction, we will be working with staff, patients, and stakeholders to develop a brand-new organisation, with a new identity, culture, name, and structure.

Any newly merged organisation would be legally responsible for all data and if merged would develop one clinical information system. The same standards of confidentiality and security that apply to all NHS organisations will remain in place. As now, your information will only be accessed by those who need to provide you with care, and in very limited circumstances, others with a specific legitimate and lawful need.

The service will continue to be available and delivered as usual.

Sussex Partnership, who delivers CAMHS in Hampshire, is in conversation with the service commissioners to ensure that any future changes focus on improving access to services and supporting clinical care, in line with the independent report's recommendations.

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

Please visit our services page for specific services and contact details. Alternatively, contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service by emailing or calling the number below. You can also give us feedback, make a complaint or share a compliment.

0800 013 2319

*Lines are open Monday to Friday 10am – 4pm.

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act was passed on 30 November 2000. It gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, with full access granted in January 2005.

The Act sets out exemptions to that right and places certain obligations on public authorities.


Phone: 0300 123 3919

*Subject to any exemptions which apply, we are obliged to provide the information requested please note that requests for Personal Information is not covered under this Act and should be applied for through the Data Protection Act 1998.

Our administrative and managerial centre is based in Southampton.

While our services can be found around various NHS locations in Southampton and Portsmouth (and surrounding districts), our administrative and managerial centre is based in Southampton at:

Highpoint Venue
Bursledon Road
SO19 8BR

If you require a printable version of how to find us including bus times, car access and bike info please download our leaflet. (Copyright of Highpoint Venue).

Central office phone: 0300 123 3390

*Lines open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

If you are a journalist with a media enquiry, please contact the Communications Team at: 

0300 123 4156 or 02381 031076

The Communications Office is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.