A PARTNERSHIP which aims to deliver a more local approach to health and care services has been launched.

From December 1, NHS organisations, St Helens Council and other voluntary sector partners including Torus Housing are working together to deliver certain services.

The St Helens Urgent Treatment Centre, Community IV Therapy Services and Looked After Children service are among those affected.

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These services in St Helens had been delivered by Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

The goal of the partnership, says the St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group, is to bring services together and make it easier for residents to get the best quality care they need in the most appropriate place.

Bringing the running of these community services back to a local provider is a key objective of the St Helens Cares partnership, with the transfer of the responsibility for running the services outlined above to St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, the lead provider in the St Helens Cares partnership, (Urgent Treatment Centre and Community IV Therapy) and North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (Looked After Children).

The second phase of community services will transfer on April 1, 2020.

Members of staff who currently work for Bridgewater have been part of a consultation process.

Working on a place-based approach means hospital and community services can be knitted together, says the St Helens CCG.

The CCG adds this will make it easier to support more people in the community and keep them out of hospital and will also help to move some services out of hospital and into the community, where appropriate.

The location of services remains the same as will members of staff so local residents should see "no difference in the care and treatment delivered", the CCG added.

Professor Sarah O’Brien, strategic director, people’s services and clinical accountable officer at NHS St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This is a hugely exciting time for the community services within our borough and I look forward to seeing how the next phase of the St Helens Cares partnership benefits our local residents.”