Deborah Partington, Director of Operations from Greater Manchester Mental Health has met with members of the Wigan Borough Senior Leadership Team for a series of introductory meetings.  These are now being followed by a series of planned meetings between the Greater Manchester Mental Health Wigan Transfer Project Team and Wigan Borough operational managers to support the continued engagement and understanding of the Wigan clinical and operational pathways.

Welcome boards for Atherleigh Park and Helping Hands are in development as well as an online staff handbook which will support staff with the practicalities of joining Greater Manchester Mental Health such as human resources and information management and technology.  This will be available to transferring staff a week before transfer.

From 1 April, there are 7 planned induction events and throughout the month of which Executive Directors from Greater Manchester Mental Health will attend and visit sites and services to welcome transferring staff.  A thank you and good luck session has been arranged for 30 March 2021, for those staff transferring to Greater Manchester Mental Health hosted by the Chairman and Chief Executive.

Greater Manchester Mental Health is working to transfer all our website and online referral information in relation to Wigan, Greater Manchester and Bolton services to the Greater Manchester Mental Health site.  This will be completed in time for 1 April 2021.  Our policies and standard operating procedures currently used in Wigan Borough will also be transferred to Greater Manchester Mental Health’s intranet which all transferring staff will be able to access from day one.  Templates are also being designed for all printed materials such as leaflets, appointment cards and safety plans. 

Greater Manchester Mental Health are working proactively with external stakeholders and keeping them informed of progress via monthly briefings which can be viewed here.  Greater Manchester Mental Health will also work proactively with the local media by announcing the transfer of staff and services on 1 April 2021.

Patient care will not be affected. People will continue to see the same healthcare professionals and receive care in the same location. They will notice a change to the logo on the letters they receive after 1 April 2021.  With this in mind, communication with patients and service users is intended to be low key and focus on reassurance.

Plans are in place to communicate with and reassure service users and their families and carers about the transfer of their care and care records in the run up to the transfer.  This will be done through various channels, including patient letters, animation, website, social media, healthcare workers and posters in clinics. As part of this, we will be helping patients understand the benefits of their care being provided by a different NHS organisation.

We will also be working with Wigan and Leigh Healthwatch to make sure messages reach as many people as possible.