Partner focus: Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust

Who are the health and care organisations that make up BSW Together? Over the coming months the Triangle will feature a mini profile of each of our partners, giving you an overview of the work they do and an understanding of how they are part of our health and care partnership. In the first of this new series, we take a look at mental health services provider, the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust.

Overview: Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP) provides healthcare for people with serious mental illness, learning disabilities and autism in inpatient and community-based settings.  The organisation services a population of around 1.8 million across Bath and North East Somerset Swindon and Wiltshire, as well as Bristol, North Somerset, and South Gloucestershire. It is also a partner in the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire ICS, which is known as Healthier Together.

Location:  AWP’s headquarters are in Bath, but it has facilities all over the BSW area, Bristol and South Gloucester including Devizes, Bath and Salisbury. Increasingly AWP service users prefer to be treated at or as close as possible to their own homes and AWP is providing more care in our communities.

Staff: AWP employs over 4,000 dedicated members of staff who deliver services across more than 90 locations, covering a region of 2,200 miles. AWP has approximately 150 teams and its services support a population of around 1.8 million people.

What does AWP do? AWP treats people with a range of mental health problems including severe anxiety, severe depression, obsessive compulsive disorders, phobias, borderline personality disorders, schizophrenia and psychosis

It also provides specialist care and treatment for people with specific needs including drug and alcohol services, treatments for eating disorders, child and adolescent mental health services, perinatal services, veterans’ mental health services, services for people with learning disabilities and secure services for people with mental health disorders who pose or have posed a risk to others.

The Partnership’s specialised services are increasingly delivered in partnership with a much wider group of providers.

Leadership team: Dominic Hardisty, Chief Executive; Alison Smith, Deputy Chief Executive, Charlotte Hitchings, Chair

Why is AWP’s role in the BSW ICS important?

“It’s really important that we work collaboratively to provide services appropriate to the needs of our local communities. We have been working closely with our partners for many years now, but this new way of working enables us to accelerate the progress we have made to date to ensure we can improve health and wellbeing, reduce inequalities and agree plans to meet the needs of local people.” – Charlotte Hitchings, Chair of Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust.

“The average life expectancy for somebody with serious mental illness or multiple and profound learning disabilities and autism is 15 years lower than the average life expectancy of a typical UK resident. The establishment of the Integrated Care Systems and the Integrated Care Boards provides us with a real opportunity to work collaboratively to address this and provide high quality care appropriate to people’s needs.” – Dominic Hardisty, Chief Executive for Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust,