Navigation Menu Icon

Project Fusion - bringing together services

Bringing together community, mental health and learning disability services

Across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, community, mental health and learning disability services are currently provided by several NHS organisations plus local authority, voluntary and independent sector organisations. 

This complex arrangement can mean that some people and communities, depending on where they live, do not have the same access to care services, receive the same services or have the same health outcomes.

Following an independent review of these services in January 2022 a compelling case was made to bring together all community, mental health and learning disability services across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight into one, new NHS Trust.  

The temporary name of this programme of work is Project Fusion and it involves Isle of Wight NHS Trust, Solent NHS Trust, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.  The work is being overseen locally by the Integrated Care Board – the statutory organisation responsible for planning and arranging the provision of health care services in the area to meet the needs of the local population, and nationally by NHS England.

Bringing the organisations together in this way will deliver benefits for both patients and staff.  For patients it will ensure that no matter where you live, your access to services will be the same, the service you get will be the same and your health outcome will be the same.  Patients will also benefit from organisations being able to share expertise, equipment, and other resources to help improve services. For staff, bringing organisations together will help reduce staffing vacancies, offer career progression and development opportunities and support professionals working more closely together.

This process itself of bringing the organisations together will not result in services changes.  Services will still be delivered locally at a place, community, and local neighbourhood level in each area.  Joining together will also help us collectively to meet the changing and increasing needs of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight population, ensuring our services are in good shape, joined up and continue to be available for years to come.

Over the next year we are committed to working with people who use our services, their families, communities, our staff, and partners to ensure a wide range of views and perspectives are considered as we bring our organisations together. Our ambition is to have formed the new organisation by April 2024.

Independent review of community and mental health services in Hampshire and Isle of Wight

In January 2022, the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care System commissioned an independent review of community, mental health and learning disability services. The review aimed to provide an overview of current and future needs of local people relating to community and mental health services. It was the first step in understanding the strengths and weaknesses of existing services, identifying any gaps and areas for improvement. The review looked carefully at the evidence and involved a range of health professionals, partners, and stakeholders, as well as existing insight and feedback from people who use local community, mental health and learning disability services.


Findings from the review confirmed that people do not have the same access to or receive the same health and care services and that there are differences in patient experience and outcomes, revealing a compelling case for change across Hampshire and Isle of Wight to make sure health services meet the needs of our population.

A full copy of the review is available here

Review recommendations

The recommendations from the review:

The review resulted in the following five recommendations:

1. A new Trust should be created for all community, mental health and learning disability services across Hampshire and Isle of Wight, with local divisions to focus on our communities. All existing NHS Trusts in the area are being involved in and are coordinating this work with the Integrated Care Board and identifying a plan for developing this work further taking into account any issues that it presents and looking at ways to overcome those.

2. A review of community beds for those with physical health challenges should be undertaken, in a partnership between community, acute (hospital) and primary care service providers (e.g., doctors, dentists, midwives, community nurses) and local authorities. This is required to ensure the highest possible levels of patient safety, quality and experience are in place and that patients are receiving care in the most appropriate setting for their needs.

3. Develop a clinical plan for community, mental health and learning disability services that focuses on preventing ill health, supporting people early in the process when they do become unwell, and care focused around the patient. This will be led by those who provide our community, mental health and learning disability services with input from service users and key partners, such as primary care and local authorities.

4. A clear plan across our health and care system for the leadership of local services in each area is needed. This will help to identify how we can join up health and care services locally with other key services affecting health such as education.

5. Establishing a long-term plan for the funding for community and mental health services to make sure people in each area have the same level of support. The plan needs to identify where some areas of have higher levels of investment historically and how they have performed as a result and how the overall money available can be used more fairly and equally.

One of the review’s key recommendations is that a new organisation be formed, to bring together all NHS community, mental health and learning disability services provided in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. This has been given a working title Project Fusion.

The case for change

The review says that bringing together services in this way would improve consistency of care. It would also help to ensure that people have the same access to care no matter where they live in the area. Patients, their families, and communities would benefit by the organisations working even more closely together.

The recommendation is aligned with, and builds upon, the steps the organisations are already taking to work in partnership. It will further allow health staff to work more closely together to best meet the needs of the people they support.

Local services will continue to be delivered close to home; the recommendation is about improving the way services work together.

What have we done so far and what are the next steps?

We have prepared a summary document for our Trust Boards, for the Integrated Care Board and for NHS England that sets out a clear rationale for creating a new Trust and that plan (called a strategic outline case) has been submitted to NHS England for their approval.

We now need to continue the work to add all the detail to that plan to identify how the organisation will work, its future plan, what resources it needs and what we need to have ready by Day 1 and beyond. We need to have this ready by October 2023.

We have put systems in place within our individual organisations and to join those all together to ensure the right people are coming together to develop the plan.

We also want to engage with people who use our services, their families, communities, our staff, and partners to help us develop this plan.

How can I keep in touch with the project as it develops?

We will continue to keep people informed about how the plan to develop the new organisation is progressing. We will do this by providing information:

  • On our individual websites
  • Directly to people who work for and with the four organisations e.g., our staff and partners
  • Face-to-face in our conversations with community groups
  • Via the local media when there is news to announce or events happening in which people can get involved
  • Other communications where appropriate e.g., posters advertising events, local newsletters and social media.

How can I get involved?

We are actively looking to hold community conversations about Project Fusion and to capture people’s knowledge, experience, hopes and concerns to help inform the development of our detailed plan. As we develop our plan, we may also have specific questions about individual services that we want to discuss with you.

Throughout this process we will make sure we reach a broad mix of people across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight including those groups of people who are seldom heard to capture your thoughts and feedback.

If you are part of a community group or organisation, please invite us to come and talk to you and listen to your views. Contact us at

Or if you have a question or want to share your views directly with us you can also use the same email address to contact us.

Frequently asked questions

See our Fusion frequently asked questions page for more information