The boards of the two East Sussex primary care trusts (PCTs) – NHS Hastings and Rother and NHS East Sussex Downs and Weald – have agreed to share the management of East Sussex community health services with South Downs Health NHS Trust.
Starting in 2010, the partnership will be an interim management arrangement for 18 months to 24 months and is part of the PCTs’ programme to separate their commissioning and provider functions in line with national Transforming Community Services guidance.
Mike Wood, chief executive of the two East Sussex primary care trusts, said: “I am pleased to announce this interim management partnership with South Downs Health, a long established NHS community health services organisation.
“The decision involves the transfer of responsibility for managing our services, meaning there will be robust arrangements in place to support community staff to continue doing what they do best – providing high quality NHS services in people’s homes, health centres, clinics, community hospitals and schools - while the PCTs explore the options for a permanent management solution.”
The decision follows discussions with staff and the PCTs’ partners about options for the organisational structure for East Sussex community health services and an evaluation of four proposals for interim arrangements.
As part of the Transforming Community Services process, South Downs also won a management contract to run community health services for NHS West Sussex in March, which took effect from 1 August.