Innovative Mental Health Joint Venture to Launch in Widnes

A new joint venture to deliver high-quality mental health services will open at the Widnes hospital site, health bosses confirmed today. 

The Priory Group (Europe’s leading independent provider of mental health services) and Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMW) have joined forces to create the venture which sees each organisation bring their wealth of experience and expertise to Widnes. The 72-bed state-of-the-art facility is planned to open in October and provide care for people who have serious mental health problems, but also with other complexities such as autism, learning difficulties and personality disorder. There are currently very few such facilities in the country and service users have previously had to be placed long distances from their families.

Both the Priory and GMW are acutely aware of the issues identified by the CQC last year and have worked tirelessly to put the most robust processes and policies in place to address the areas of concern and ensure that plans are put in place to safeguard the interests of service users.  GMW will provide the clinical aspects of care including all consultant, doctors, psychologists, social workers and advanced nursing practitioners as well as occupational therapists. They will also be legally responsible for administering the Mental Health Act and for managing the processes involved. Along with the premises, the Priory will provide nurses, healthcare assistants and all the support staff required to run the hospital site.

Bev Humphrey, Chief Executive of GMW said, “We are extremely proud to begin this joint venture with the Priory and they have our confidence thanks to an already successful working relationship in Salford.  We are both leaders in our specialist fields – the Priory has a world-class reputation for their dedication in helping people improve their mental health and well-being, in hospital and supported living environments, and our clinical excellence in specialist forensic care is second to none.  We are the best-performing NHS mental health trust in the North.  In this challenging financial environment, it makes sense to pool our resources to deliver the very best, specialist care to these vulnerable individuals.

“This venture takes the best of the innovative private sector as well as the safety, governance and clinical experience of the NHS.  I hope this reassures the people of Widnes that their hospital is in safe hands and that we have the opportunity to create a centre of excellence locally.”

Tom Riall, Chief Executive of the Priory Group said, “This is the start of a new chapter for our hospital at Widnes and we are delighted to be entering into this exciting new partnership. Our collaboration with GMW, which is a leading NHS Foundation Trust, establishes a forward-thinking and innovative relationship, harnessing the strength and proven expertise of both providers.

“The aim is to ensure that everyone treated will receive a consistently high standard of care, supported by experienced staff in quality surroundings. We will work to deliver treatment that is customised to the service user’s needs as well as ensuring that we deliver value for money.”

It is expected that at full capacity 200 local jobs will be created at the hospital and £6-7 million of staff wages will be brought to the area. 

For further information on the full range of Priory services, please call: 0845 277 4679.