Publish date: 13 September 2023

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP) has set out its vision for mental health, learning disability and autism care in a new 5 year strategy

It includes aims to reduce waiting times and ensure patients who need inpatient care can be supported in a local bed closer to friends and family, rather than sent out of area. It will also improve community mental health and learning disability services where patients can live well and independently at home.

One of the largest mental-health trusts in the country, AWP provides care and support to 1.9 million people across Bristol, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Bath, North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire.

Around 260,000 people in these areas are affected by common mental illness like stress or anxiety, and a further 17,000 are affected by severe mental illness which require secondary care. In addition, it’s estimated that 11,000 local people are living with a Learning Disability and 6,600 have Autism.

Other strategy headlines:

  • The strategy describes AWP’s ongoing commitment to working with partners on ensuring people in a mental-health crisis get the specialist health care they need, in the right place, as quickly as possible.
  • It outlines plans to improve access to services for more people, and to address the inequity some communities currently experience getting the help they need.
  • AWP will listen and learn from people with lived experience to help shape how services are run, and will work with local communities so people get help as early as possible
  • AWP will also reduce its environmental impact through different ways of working; effective use of digital; and through a sustainable estates strategy.
  • The strategy also underlines AWP’s commitment to being a Great Place to Work - which is one of its new corporate priorities - with a focus on retaining and attracting skilled, qualified staff. This includes working closely with higher education providers around training and development.

Dominic Hardisty, Chief Executive at AWP, said: “Our Strategy provides a clear roadmap for the organisation over the next few years and identifies the key objectives that will help us deliver the high quality, compassionate care that we can all be proud of. It is shaped from a wide range of conversations with our patients, families, carers, staff and partners and reflects what they told us really matters. Our commitment is now to ensure our decisions and actions are guided by it in the years ahead.”

Developing our strategy:

  • We heard from over 700 people, attended more than 35 meetings and received feedback via surveys and in person over a period of six months, following our consultation in 2022.
  • The feedback we received has helped us to change and strengthen our strategy and we are very grateful to everyone who has given up their time and participated to support us to do this work.
  • To read the strategy, click here