Who we are

Find out how Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust came about and what it means for us to be a Foundation Trust.

About us

The Trust works from more than 70 sites across Cumbria, Northumberland, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland. We also run a number of regional and national specialist services. Along with partners, we deliver support to people in their own homes, and from community and hospital-based premises.

We have around 9,000 people working for us and a budget of over £537 million.

The services we provide are divided into four sections, which are organised geographically into “locality care groups”. These are known as North, Central, South and Cumbria.

Our background

Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust was formed in 2019 when the mental health and learning disability services in North Cumbria were transferred to Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust.

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust was created back in 2006. This was through the merger of three different NHS trusts: Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland Mental Health NHS Trust; South of Tyne and Wearside Mental Health NHS Trust; and Northgate and Prudhoe NHS Trust.

Since then, there have been some dramatic changes that have helped shape how we care and support the people we serve. For instance, we have been able to provide some state-of-the-art facilities, which have dramatically improved inpatient services.

Between 2006 and 2016, we opened eight new buildings, ranging from a specialist dementia centre to a large 122-bed hospital.

An ‘outstanding’ Trust

In August 2016 we were rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission, one of the first mental health Trusts in the country to achieve this. In 2018 we were again awarded an Outstanding rating.

In community services, we have introduced Initial Response Teams to provide 24-hour access to urgent mental health care through one single phone number. We put in place a number of other services too, such as a support service for veterans and a street triage service that works in partnership with Northumbria Police.

In 2015, the Health Service Journal named us as one of the top 100 NHS Trusts to work for.

More recently, the Trust was chosen by NHS Improvement to lead the way in mental health care, picking us as its strategic partner in developing its mental health improvement programme.

What is a NHS Foundation Trust?

Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust was given Foundation Trust status on 1 December, 2009.

NHS Foundation Trusts move decision-making from central Government to local organisations and communities. This was to make them more responsive to the needs and wishes of the people they serve.

Consequently, NHS Foundation Trusts are not under direction from the Secretary of State for Health. Instead, these Trusts build stronger connections with their local communities. Each NHS Foundation Trust has members made up of local people and staff, including patients and carers.

Free care, based on need and not ability to pay.

Core NHS principles

Members can stand for and elect the Trust’s board of governors. Governors represent the interests of the members and partner organisations in how the Foundation Trust is run. Communities and NHS staff  can therefore have a bigger say in the management and provision of Trust services in their area. NHS Foundation Trusts can then direct their services more closely to their communities. They have the freedom to develop new ways of working  so they can accurately reflect the needs and expectations of the people they serve.

Even though they are run locally, NHS Foundation Trusts remain fully part of the NHS. As a result, their main purpose is to provide care and services to patients and service users, according to core NHS principles – free care, based on need and not ability to pay.

Foundation Trust members  and commissioners hold these Trusts to account. In addition, NHS primary care Trusts and NHS Improvement (the independent regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts) also hold Foundation Trusts to account.


What is an Integrated Care System?

Now, more than ever before, health and care services need to work together to deliver the right care, at the right time and in the best place. The NHS Long Term Plan, published 7 January 2019, makes it clear that integrated care systems (ICS) are central to bringing together local organisations, to redesign care and improve health.

Creating an ICS for the north east and north Cumbria is not about developing a new organisation or structure. It’s about looking at ways of working differently for the benefit of all patients and staff. An integrated care system will bring together health and social care organisations to agree joint priorities and decide how best to deliver efficient services where there is a common need or opportunity. By collaborating and making best use of combined resources, including technology, data, money and our workforce, we have a shared focus on improving the health and wellbeing of people in all communities.

An integrated care system will support joint decisions and make it easier to work ‘at scale’ on common issues which are bigger than one organisation, clinical commissioning group (CCG) or local authority area. Alongside the ICS, most work to plan and tailor care for local populations and communities will continue to be done through integrated care partnerships (ICPs) between hospital trusts, GPs, community-based health and care services and the third sector. The ICPs will also be working across local boundaries to reduce some of the costs associated with planning and delivering services, in addition to sharing what works best to improve the health of local people.