COMMUNITY health services in St Helens are to be delivered by three organisations in partnership, after a review found that current services were not equipped to meet the needs of the population over the coming years.

NHS St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has awarded the contract to deliver adult community services - which include district nursing and community matrons - to St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, alongside 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and St Helens Rota.

The new service was developed after a six-month review of intermediate care and out-of-hospital nursing services, which found that existing services, delivered by Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, needed to change.

Prof Sarah O'Brien, clinical chief executive at NHS St Helens CCG, said: "Current services were established years ago and many have developed as a reaction to growing urgent care demand. We need an out-of-hospital service which can support our ageing population and will bring growing community care, primary care and social care closer together

"This is a service which has been designed for 21st century St Helens - experienced and multi-skilled teams will be responsive and proactive in their care of patients, helping them to stay well and out of hospital for longer.

"I believe this is an exciting opportunity for clinical staff in St Helens and an opportunity for St Helens to lead the way in new ways of working."

Ann Marr, chief executive of St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospital NHS Trust said: "We passionately believe that by combining knowledge and understanding of our community's needs we can together create a health system which will support those who do fall ill more effectively and be sustainable."

The hospital trust will be the lead provider for the contract, with community nursing services and therapies sub-contracted to 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and St Helens Rota.

Simon Barber, chief executive at 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: "As the current provider of mental health care in St Helens, this partnership contract gives us the opportunity to deliver integrated, whole-person care which considers, supports and treats people's physical as well as their mental wellbeing.

"These services will sit alongside the children's community services we already deliver in the borough and we look forward to building on our knowledge and experience of delivering similar adult community services in Knowsley."

Steve Holbrook, director of operations, St Helens Rota said: "St Helens Rota will be specifically providing the GP medical input to the Intermediate Care element of the contract. We truly believe our community will benefit from this innovative, integrated approach."

The services will transfer to the partnership in April.