We are PROSPECT – the Cheshire and Merseyside Lead Provider Collaborative for Adult Secure Care.

PROSPECT is the Cheshire and Merseyside Adult Secure Lead Provider Collaborative for specialised mental health, learning disability and autism services. It is made up of two NHS and one independent sector organisation that jointly provide these specialised services in our geographical area.

NHS England has devolved its commissioning budget and commissioning activity to Mersey Care as the Lead Provider in the collaborative. Our partner organisations are Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Elysium Health Care.

The PROSPECT board is chaired by Mersey Care’s Chief Executive, Prof Joe Rafferty CBE. It has been led from the outset by clinical experts from all partners and co-created with experts by experience. Its focus is on improvement in the delivery of and experience of care.

In early 2023, PROSPECT LPC achieved Level 2 of the Quality Maturity Framework and plans are in place to achieve Level 1 later this year.

The Clinical Lead for PROSPECT is Mersey Care’s Associate Director of Nursing and Patient Experience Bridget Clancy. The partnership brings together some of the region’s top secure service expertise, including consultant forensic psychiatrics such as Dr Jennie McCarthy. In this video, Jennie explains her role helping patients and changing lives.

PROSPECT Partnership Board has recently approved funding for a 2-year pilot for Cheshire and Wirral Partnership Trust’s Alderley Unit as well as funding for the implementation of a Learning Disability and/or Autism Specialist Community Forensic Team for Cheshire and Merseyside patients. They are working collaboratively with Health and Justice Commissioners to improve pathways between prisons and secure services.

Please click the links below to learn more.

The lead for commissioning and contracting Rebecca Mottershaw-King explains how the provider collaborative works in these short videos.



The PROSPECT Collaborative covers a significant geographical footprint and has a weighted population of circa 2.5 million.

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  1. Whalley (Mersey Care low secure LD)
  2. Rowan View (Mersey Care medium secure LD and MH)
  3. Rathbone (Mersey Care low secure MH)
  4. Hollins Park (Mersey Care low secure MH and specialist community forensic team)
  5. Arbury Court (Elysium low and medium secure MH)
  6. Gateway (Elysium low secure MH)
  7. St Mary's (Elysium, low and medium secure ABI)
  8. Alderley and Saddlebridge (Cheshire and Wirral Partnership low secure and forensic support service)

A NHS-Led Provider Collaborative is a group of regional providers who have agreed to work together to improve the care pathway for their local population. They do this by taking responsibility for the budget and pathway for their given population. The Collaborative is led by an NHS Provider. The Lead Provider remains accountable to NHS England and NHS Improvement for the commissioning of high-quality, specialised services.

Provider Collaboratives aim to:

  • deliver care closer to home,
  • invest in community services and
  • drive improvements in patient outcomes and experience.

These partnerships are being established across England as part of a national programme of work linked to delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan.

The new arrangements came into effect on 1 November 2021 when NHS England formally transferred its commissioning budget of £56 million and to Mersey Care as the Lead Provider in the PROSPECT Collaborative. Mersey Care now holds a Lead Provider contract with NHSE and this makes the Collaborative responsible for the commissioning and quality assurance of the services, pathway management and service user engagement.

Over the next year, the Collaborative aims to:

  • Work closely with relevant partners to deliver highly localised integrated pathways 
  • Minimise unnecessary variation in the Collaborative’s clinical model
  • Improve quality and outcomes for service users
  • Address inequalities and improving service user experience and outcomes
    • Reduced time to assessment and waiting times for admission
    • Increased person-centred care and peer support
    • Improved recovery and life opportunities
    • More responsive and inclusive services
    • Improved pathway cohesion and reduced transitions
    • Clinically appropriate admissions and provide alternative to admissions
    • Reduction in length of stay
  • Reduce out of area placements 
  • Improve efficiency to innovate and further improve

CEO Prof Joe Rafferty says:

“PROSPECT coming to life has been a very catalytic event for us. Good, existing collaborations have become brilliant ones. Areas like safety and outcome, rather than appearing threatening to share, are being driven by learning. The experience of and access for patients has improved”.

Andy Styring, Director of Strategy and Partnerships at CWP, says:

“There’s strong mutual respect across all partners: the trusts, independent sector and NHS England. We are pledged to continually learn, support the improvement of care and outcomes for people within our respective services.”

Patrick Neville, Strategic Development Director, Elysium Healthcare says:

“Elysium Healthcare have supported the national NHS led Provider Collaboratives  programme from the very start and are proud to be a partner in the Prospect Partnership as we are in other partnerships across the country. The benefits to service users of ensuring that all services work transparently, with mutual cooperation, to deliver high quality services matched to service user need is both good practice and demonstrably an improvement in care.

The collaboration between the NHS services and ourselves in the Prospect Partnership has achieved significant improvements in access, provision and aftercare arrangements and we see the journey towards enhanced collaboration supporting services to work ever more effectively.”