Stakeholder Message sent on behalf of Matt Hartland and Mark Axcell

Dear colleagues

As you will be aware Dudley Place partners and specifically our commissioners have been reviewing options for the future of Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS Trust services. A set of principles were previously agreed to secure the best outcome as we prepare to safely transfer services to new providers, and these have guided this work so far. These principles include:   

  • There will be no service change for patients, at the point of transfer. 
  • Protecting employment for staff will be a priority and we will avoid moving staff more than once. 
  • Where there are teams or services that are integrated now, we will aim to retain that integration moving forwards and transfer them together. 
  • We will keep talking to you our stakeholders, and to our staff about this work and we will ensure patients are aware of any changes which will be made.

Ultimately, our aim is to ensure that any future service moves create an “equal or better” scenario in terms of quality of care for those using them and that the transfer of services to new providers is safe.

Each of the commissioners has been playing a key role in the review to determine the best future for the services for which they are responsible, and we wanted to update you on the progress made since our last message at the end of July.

There is now a clear recommendation for the services commissioned by the ICB and for Dudley Council commissioned services there is a way forward through their procurement. The recommendations detailed below, have been endorsed by the Boards on the basis that they are best fit for the principles above. The recommendations are: 

  • The Council commissioned School Nursing team will transfer to a new provider as a result of the current Council-led procurement process and integrate 0 – 19 Children and Young People’s Services.
  • The ICB commissioned, Dudley Talking Therapies for Anxiety and Depression team, Primary Mental Health Care team and the associated commissioning functions are recommended to transfer to Black Country Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.
  • All other ICB commissioned functions are recommended to transfer to a Place Based Partnership arrangement hosted by an NHS Trust

There is however more work to do to for PCN commissioners to reach a recommendation for the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) team. At this stage we are clear that the Place-based Partnership is likely to be hosted by an NHS Trust in line with the ICB operating model with clearly defined governance arrangements.  PCN’s are working with partners to see how such a hosted place model could support the needs of general practice, whilst continuing to support staff with what is important to ARRS staff, such as NHS pensions and other benefits. However, whilst it is the ambition of both the DIHC and ICB boards to work with partners to build a strong place-based partnership to support PCN’s, there is continued dialogue with PCNs as they may wish to directly employ ARRS staff at a practice or PCN level.  As this work continues throughout this month we will keep our staff and stakeholders informed of progress.

We remain committed to working with all Dudley partners to create the right environment for improvements to the health of local people. In the longer term, we are confident that Dudley has the foundation to enable this, and we will work to build upon the relationships that exist now to fulfil our ambition for integrated health and care.

We are expecting to know final recommendations from all commissioners on the future provision of DIHC services in October 2023. 

As the future becomes clearer, we want to be explicit that we are committed to retaining the skills and experience of our teams and staff here in Dudley and ensuring our staff are supported through the process and services will continue for those using them in the same way. We are developing an employment commitment with partners for DIHC staff who may not naturally transfer under TUPE as part of the organisational change process. The ICB has made a commitment to work rigorously in supporting staff and identifying suitable alternative employment if required.
If you would like to discuss any of the information within this communication, please do contact us via .  

Best wishes

Mr Matthew Hartland
Dudley Integrated Health and Care NHS Trust
Chief Executive Officer   

Mr Mark Axcell  
NHS Black Country Integrated Care Board  
Chief Executive Officer