A HEALTH trust will be taking over the provision of learning disability services in Oxfordshire.

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust will now be supporting around 670 people in the county who have a learning disability and are over the age of 18.

A new management team has been appointed at the trust to strengthen and support services, which will be led by director Liz Williams, a former specialist psychologist and advisor to the Care Quality Commission.

She said: "We are absolutely honoured to be given this opportunity and cannot wait to begin offering these services.

"We recognise that there have been some very tragic incidents in the recent past and are keen to work with people who use these learning disability services, their families and staff, to further develop them.

"Our ambition for the longer term is to improve the service offer across the board to people with learning disabilities, co-produced with people we support, to realise the vision set out in the Transforming Care Plan locally."

The Evenlode unit, which supports people who need to be cared for in a secure enviroment and has seven patients in the unit, will also be transferred to Oxford Health.

Based at Littlemore Mental Health Centre, the service will now be overseen by a team that already manages medium secure forensic patients in adult mental health.

Slade House will be transferred to the trust this summer as it is keen to develop it as a key health facility for the town.

An intensive support team is already on-site to provide rehabilitation and help for people to make the transition from inpatient to community services. 

Previously these services were provided by Southern Health and staff already working will move over to Oxford Health. 

The Visin service has also transferred across to the trust, which provides social care outreach support to 46 people with a learning disability.

Debbie Robinson, Southern Health’s Associate Director of Adult Mental Health & Learning Disabilities, said: “The transition of our services has proceeded smoothly and safely thanks to the hard work of our Oxfordshire staff and the partnership approach taken by everyone concerned – including local families and people with a learning disability. On behalf of Southern Health, I’d like to wish Oxfordshire teams, their service users and Oxford Health all the very best for the future.”