Chapter one: About us
Introduction to Solent and our services
We provide a range of services in communities across the Hampshire and Isle of Wight geography, to enable people to remain well and independent throughout their lives.
- We provide community, mental health specialist services.
- We were established on 1 April 2011.
- We employed 6,296 people in 2020-21.
- We received over £238m annual income for 2020-21.
- We provide services in Portsmouth, Southampton, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
- In 2020-21, we had over 976,000 service user contacts.
Our services in the community
The area in which we operate
Solent NHS Trust is a provider of community and mental health services and a core partner in the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Care System. Hampshire and the Isle of Wight is one of the largest, most complex health and care systems in the country.
The Hampshire and Isle of Wight system faces a number of challenges. Some communities experience unacceptably poorer access, outcomes and life expectancy than the rest of our population. This has been highlighted more than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. In common with other systems across the country, there is an increasing financial challenge and we have some difficulties recruiting and retaining the workforce we need. The needs of our city populations are different in some areas to those of our rural communities. Across the county, there is a growing elderly population with changing health needs. We also know there is variable quality and resilience of services, with some people staying in hospital longer than is beneficial.
From April 2022, the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care System (ICS) will be formalised and it will take collective responsibility for managing resources, delivering care, and improving the health of the communities we serve. This is happening as part of a national process to improve partnership working between hospital and community services, physical and mental health, and health and social care.
The Hampshire and Isle of Wight partners understand that by working together we make lives better. We will increasingly work in partnership to integrate and coordinate services, provide more consistency of care, reduce inequalities and improve the health and wellbeing of our population.
In Solent we deliver some of our services at a countywide scale. We also operate and collaborate at other levels of scale:
- Alongside GPs – and other primary care colleagues, in neighbourhoods
- At a city level – or in groups of organisations surrounding the hospital trusts (“place-based care”)
- At a regional level – with health and care colleagues from different counties.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us more than ever that collaborating with others at the appropriate level of scale to plan and deliver services is critical to meet local needs.
Increasingly, community and mental health providers are working more closely with GPs and other primary care colleagues in primary care networks, to share learning and resources, often with the aim of developing sustainable, integrated community, mental health and primary care teams which respond to neighbourhood needs and tackle inequalities.
Similarly, groups of organisations are working at place level, in city and county council footprints and around hospital trusts, to focus on population health needs and outcomes, with the aim of ensuring pathways of care are sustainable, accessible and joined-up, regardless of organisational boundaries.
Where it is appropriate to work across ICS boundaries – for example to deliver highly specialist services such as specialist adult and children’s mental health, eating disorders and services for veterans of the armed forces – we are doing so. Working at scale has been enabled by the development of formal provider collaborative models, where two or more health organisations work together across multiple places, with a shared purpose and decision-making. Increasingly providers of hospital, community, mental health and ambulance services will work in this way, where it will provide greater resilience, economies, capacity and benefits for service users.