PLANS are now underway to transfer north Cumbria's mental health and learning disability services to a hospital trust in the north east.

It was agreed, at the end of February, that the services would transfer from Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) to Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (NTW).

Plans are now underway on delivering this and ensuring that the transfer can be undertaken safely and effectively.

NHS leaders from NTW have been in Cumbria this week as the trusts embark on a period of engagement about the service transfer which should be complete by October 1.

NTW chief executive John Lawlor said: “We are passionate about driving forward improvements that will benefit the health and wellbeing of those we serve across North Cumbria.

"By working in partnership with our colleagues at CPFT we can learn from each other and embrace the opportunity to work collaboratively with our staff, service users, carers and partners to implement positive and sustainable change.”

Stephen Eames, chief executive at CPFT said: “This is a positive step for patients in North Cumbria.

"NTW has a long track record of providing outstanding care across an extensive geographical area and will be able to bring more expertise to help us improve the quality of our services and tackle some of the longstanding challenges we have.

"NTW are committed to ensuring mental health and disability services are delivered locally into the system, particularly into our integrated care communities here in north Cumbria and will be able to share their successful experiences in recruitment.

"We can now start to plan the transfer with our staff in more detail."