Solent NHS TrustHigh quality community and mental health services

New NHS Trust launches

Published: 31/03/2011

New NHS Trust launches

Residents of the cities of Southampton, Portsmouth and other parts of Hampshire now have a new stand alone NHS provider of community and mental health services, following the launch today (Friday 01 April 2011) of Solent NHS Trust.

In line with a government directive for local NHS services to separate their structures into provision and commissioning arms, Solent Healthcare has now successfully separatedfrom its host, Southampton City Primary Care Trust (PCT), to create Solent NHS Trust.

Solent NHS Trust’s Chief Executive, Dr Ros Tolcher, said, “Today is an important date for our local community and stakeholders as we have been able to achieve this new status thanks to their support and we are grateful for this. It is also a realization of the vision of Southampton City PCT and Portsmouth City PCT’s to create a new provider dedicated to community services and the culmination of a long period of planning. It is important to emphasize that all of our current services will continue to be offered by the same staff and from the same venues.

“Our staff have a good reputation for delivering accessible, high quality patient-centered services. We are the main provider of community services locally and we will continue to work closely with our partners, such as local GPs, local authorities and other NHS organisations to offer the very best care.”

Ros, a trained doctor, led Solent Healthcare as Chief Officer from April last year when Southampton Community Healthcare merged with Portsmouth Community and Mental Health Service. She has worked in the NHS in and around Southampton and Portsmouth since 1985. Herwealth of experience in leading organisational change will be called upon as Solent NHS Trust enters a pipeline to become a Foundation Trust by April 2013.

“Becoming Solent NHS Trust was a legal step necessary for Solent Healthcare to separate from the PCT. As we embark on the journey to become a Foundation Trust, we will be asking for views from local communities and stakeholders on our plans. We will also be recruiting members over the next few months. Our members will play a very important part in helping shape and deliver local services as well as deciding on appointments of senior managers, including the Chief Executive.

“We are really excited about these changes as they represent a democratic and inclusive way of ensuring that we deliver health services that meet with the expectations of the communities we serve.”

The creation of Solent NHS Trust required formal approval by the Secretary of Sate and will have a full Board, (Chairman Alistair Stokes) which will oversee an ambitious programme at a time of great change for the NHS.

If you are interested in becoming a member or to receive more information about Solent NHS Trust please email


Notes for Editors:

Solent Healthcare was created on 1 April 2010 through the integration of Southampton Community Healthcare and Portsmouth Community and Mental Health Services. It is hosted by Southampton City Primary Care Trust and provides community health services throughout Southampton, Portsmouth and parts of Hampshire

During July, the Secretary of State for Health published his White Paper- Equality and Excellence- Liberating the NHS. This document sets out the vision for the NHS under the new coalition government.The paper reiterates that all PCTs should separate their commissioning and provider functions by 1 April 2011. This means that Solent Healthcare must split from Southampton City PCT, our host PCT, by this date. It also makes it clear that all NHS providers will fall under the regulatory framework of Foundation Trusts (FT) by 2013. Following a vigorous approvals process, Solent Healthcare’s application to Parliament for an establishment order to formalise the creation of the new Solent NHS Trust from 1 April 2011 was approved.

For more information please contact Elton Dzikiti, Assistant Communications Manager, Solent Healthcare on 023 8060 8936.

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