Mental health services in north and west Cumbria will soon by run by a trust from outside the county.

Bosses have been carrying out a review of mental health and learning disability services, currently run by the Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

They include those delivered at Carlisle’s Carleton Clinic, as well as services for children and young people.

Now, following consultation meetings, they have agreed to transfer these services to Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust - a specialist mental health trust in the north east.

The board of directors, which agreed the move, claim the transfer will provide the best outcome for patients, improving the quality of services long term.

The move will see the current countywide service split down the middle, with patients in the north moving under the care of Northumberland, Tyne & Wear (NTW).

The future of services in the south of the county have yet to be finalised, though it is likely they will be transferred to Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust (LCFT).

However, the Cumbria Partnership board delayed their judgement on this pending the outcome of ongoing quality assurance work.

Stephen Eames, chief executive of the Cumbria Partnership, has previously said that transferring services to a bigger, specialist trust was a strong option. But he said he would only support such a move if it would improve services in the area.

He said: “When we started this piece of work I was clear that Cumbria needed support from regional partners in order to sustain and improve the quality of services for people living in Cumbria.

“What has become apparent from the work we have done to explore options, is that there are some excellent opportunities to strengthen service provision.”

The two trusts will now work together to develop more detailed plans, set out in a full business case, with a view to transferring services in October 2019.

Gary O Hare, NTW’s nursing director and chief operating officer, is already working in Cumbria part-time.