Who we are

Find out how 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 60 sites across 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 more than 6,000 people working for us and a budget of over £300million.

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

Our main sites are:

We also provide services from a number of smaller units, including Benton House, Plummer Court and the Campus of Ageing and Vitality in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Our background

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 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?

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.