THE AVON and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust has come under fresh leadership following the appointment of a new chief operating officer.

Mathew Page, who trained as a mental health nurse at the University of the West of England, qualified in 1999 and joined the trust in 2014 as deputy director of operations, takes over the role at AWP with immediate effect.

He takes over the role from Sue McKenna, who has taken up a position with South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust.

Before joining the trust, a significant provider of mental health services across South Gloucestershire and the wider area, Mathew specialised in psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) and acute care and set up and ran the Montpellier Secure Recovery Service in Gloucester for seven years.

He was instrumental in securing the contract for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in Gloucestershire before going on to lead the transformation and expansion of the service, helping to develop several system-wide solutions for vulnerable children and their families, such as the Family Drug and Alcohol Court and a Functional Family Therapy Team. Mathew also developed the National Minimum Standards for CAMHS PICU.

Speaking about his appointment, Mathew said: “I am delighted to have been appointed into this role at such an important time for the mental health agenda.

“There is a great deal of work being done to raise the profile of mental health and to ensure those affected are treated with equal regard to people with physical health problems.

“We are currently facing huge challenges when it comes to growing demand for our services.

“I am committed to improving the lives of those with mental health conditions and will be relentless in pursing high standards of care. I will work to ensure our services have the resources they need to respond to those in need of care and support.”

Mathew remains a registered Mental Health Nurse, is a trained Thorn practitioner and has a clinical MSc in Forensic Psychiatry.

AWP’s chief executive, Dr Hayley Richards, said: “I am very pleased to welcome Mathew into this role. He has experience in so many fields in mental health, is passionate and dedicated and will be a key player in our ongoing work to improve and transform mental health services across Avon and Wiltshire.”