Provider Collaboratives

NHS trusts and independent healthcare providers are working together to improve the way specialised inpatient mental health, learning disability and autism services for people with complex needs are delivered in England. 

This is being delivered through NHS-led Provider Collaboratives (PCs), which are coalitions of local NHS trusts, independent health care providers and third sector organisations working together across a specific geographical area. PCs are a key component of the integrated care system in England.

Specialised Mental Health Provider Collaboratives

There are a total of 47 NHS-led specialised mental health PCs across England and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which provides mental health, learning disability and neurodevelopmental services across Sussex, is the lead provider of four in the South of England. These are: 

How do Provider Collaboratives work? 

The principle behind specialised mental health Provider Collaboratives is to enhance collaboration between NHS trusts and independent and voluntary sector providers to deliver more efficient and sustainable services, work in partnership with people with lived experience to improve the quality of care provided - in the least restrictive environment - and tackle health inequalities for their local population.

Delivering local services

Previously, specialised mental health, learning disability and autism services were co-ordinated at a national level by NHS England but the high demand for placements meant that patients were often admitted to hospitals miles from home.  

A key objective of Provider Collaboratives is to ensure that wherever possible specialised inpatient services can be commissioned, quality assured and delivered at a local level, to make it easier for families and friends to support people whilst in hospital. Evidence shows that patients who are visited regularly by family and friends make a faster recovery.

By devolving the commissioning of specialised mental health, learning disability and autism services, each Provider Collaborative is responsible for overseeing patient admissions and discharge plans, the quality of placements and managing the waiting times for beds for people with complex mental health needs in their area.

Watch the short animation below, to find out more about NHS-led Provider Collaboratives.