Mental health chiefs sign off £20,000 for name change

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  • Reporter discovers name change will cost £20,000
  • Health chiefs defend use of public money
  • Public were consulted over the decision to take on new name
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Cash-strapped bosses at an NHS organisation which provides mental health services for St Helens agreed to spend a five-figure sum changing its name.

The body formerly known as the Five Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust officially changed its title to North West Boroughs Health NHS Foundation Trust last month.

As a public body, we fully recognise the importance of keeping any costs associated with these changes to a minimum

Simon Barber, chief executive at the newly-named NHS organisation

But the St Helens Reporter has since learnt the switch-over will cost the taxpayer £20,000 in changes to signage and staff ID badges.

The eye-raising sum also includes spending on consultation materials and some IT costs. Health chiefs launched a public consultation on the name change earlier this year, receiving more than 1,000 responses.

Simon Barber, chief executive at the newly-named NHS organisation, said the change was necessary because the service no longer only works in five boroughs but insisted costs were kept to a minimum.

He added: “Our decision to change the Trust’s name to North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust on April 1, 2017 is about acknowledging the recent growth of the Trust and ensuring our staff and service users in the additional boroughs we now serve are recognised in our organisation’s name.

“As a public body, we fully recognise the importance of keeping any costs associated with these changes to a minimum.

“As such, we are prioritising any changes appropriately and will be spreading costs across the next 12 months in line with when branded materials would have routinely needed replacing or updating.

“One-off costs have been identified and total £20,000.”