Bedfordshire and Luton Mental Health and Social Care Partnership NHS Trust

On 1 April, South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (SEPT) took over Bedfordshire and Luton Mental Health and Social Care Partnership NHS Trust (BLPT).  BLPT made history by being the first NHS Trust to put itself up for merger with an established NHS Foundation Trust (FT).

More than 20 NHS organisations expressed an interest in BLPT in April and, of these, four FTs were shortlisted: Hertfordshire Partnership NHS FT, SEPT, Camden and Islington NHS FT and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS FT.

After a full evaluation and professional scoring process, SEPT was chosen as the preferred bidder. The contract was signed on 22 December , the Secretary of State published orders transferring all BLPT’s assets and liabilities to SEPT and dissolving BLPT on 22 March, and the newly expanded SEPT came into force on 01 April. 

Andrew MacPherson, Director of NHS East of England’s Strategic Projects Team which led the competition process, said: “SEPT had to compete with other NHS organisations to demonstrate firmly that it was best placed to take over BLPT. The proposal and  process underwent a detailed external approval and checking process from a wide range of bodies including the Department of Health, Monitor, the Co-operation and Competition Panel, user and carer representatives and staff. We would like to thank all the parties involved for their enthusiasm and commitment for driving this acquisition forward. Innovation was key, in the designing of the process, the treatment of its stages, and the bids we received. Their focus was on ensuring all their energy went into producing the best possible outcome for the users of BLPT.”