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Proposed Merger of Leeds Mind and Touchstone: Questions and Answers 15th August 2012 revised 4th September

r 2012 Q. Why are the two organisations talking about merging? A. Leeds Mind and Touchstone already work extremely closely together. We are partners in the Workplace Leeds contract and we are both members of the Mental Health Housing Consortium (led by Community Links) which aims to deliver all Leeds floating housing support for people with mental ill-health from 2013. We are also planning to work together to bid for the citywide Voluntary Community Faith day services contract currently delivered by Community Links, Mind and arrange of other providers. This does not include the Leeds City Council citywide in-house day services. This will mean that all Leeds Minds work in Leeds is in partnership with Touchstone. In addition to this co-operation, we believe in many of the same things. Both organisations have a passion for mental health and inclusion; both Leeds Mind and Touchstone are driven by service user involvement and a desire that Leeds becomes a more inclusive, healthier place to live and work. Given we have so much in common in terms of current activity and values, we asked ourselves whether this co-operation could go further. The trustees of Leeds Mind had been considering strategic options for some months before coming to the conclusion that this was the best option and that Touchstone would be the best partner. The Leeds Mind board approached the Touchstone board and they have been very pleased to pursue discussions further. Q. What are the benefits of merging? A. The advantages of greater co-operation are many. If we continue as separate organisations there will be duplicated infrastructure costs which ultimately mean less money going on service delivery. We believe that a merger between Touchstone and Leeds Mind will make the services we deliver more sustainable in the current funding climate. Joining together could also provide better service user pathways, improved service infrastructure, better collaborative work and more opportunities for the staff of both organisations to develop their existing skills and learn new ones. It should also make it easier to find ways to put into practice many of our creative and innovative ideas. These advantages are ones that we believe we should explore further. Q. Does this mean that staff will be made redundant? A. It is not our intention to make any service delivery staff redundant; in fact, a merger should make these jobs even more secure. During the first 6 months of the two organisations coming together there will be no change whatsoever

whilst all staff and other stakeholders are consulted on what staffing structure will best fit the new organisation. Once this 6 month period is over, a paper will go to the merged Leeds Mind/Touchstone Board outlining the Chief Executives considered proposals for change. If there are any vacancies during this time, these will not be permanently recruited to until after the review has been undertaken and decisions made by the Board. Q. How will staff influence these proposals? A. All staff will have a one-to-one meeting with the new CEO and there will be lots of other opportunities to feed in views and experiences. The union will be a major stakeholder too and, as well as being consulted, they will be able to comment on the proposals once these are known. Q. Touchstone and Leeds Mind have some different terms and conditions; what will happen about these? A. As part of the consultation process, both organisations terms and conditions will be reviewed and any changes proposed will be consulted on and proper legal processes followed. No changes will take place in the first 6 months whilst conversations with all staff and other stakeholders take place. Q. What about staff pensions? A. Touchstone has a stakeholder pension scheme to which it contributes 3% of salary. Most Leeds Mind staff are with the West Yorkshire Pension Fund (WYPF), a final salary scheme, although this has now been closed to new staff. New Leeds Mind staff are offered a stakeholder pension scheme through Touchstone; this was set up some months ago following the Leeds Mind trustees decision to close the WYPF to new members. This means that all new/existing staff who wish to access a pension scheme will be invited to join the Touchstone stakeholder arrangements. Q. What will it mean for the people who use our services? A. We are confident it will lead to better service delivery with more resources going directly to the people who need them most. Service users will also be consulted about their views and ideas and what they would like to be different/the same following any merger. The combined resources and creativity of the two organisations should lead to more of what we do best and the ability to work on new ideas. Q. Will volunteers be consulted?

A. Volunteers are an essential part of both organisations and will continue to be in the future. All stakeholders will be included in consultations about what the new organisation will look like. Q. What do the commissioners think about this? A. Our commissioners have been contacted personally to discuss the possibility of a merger and they agree that this seems like a sensible idea which should be better for service users. Clearly there is still a long way to go in our negotiations and commissioners will continue to be a key part of any discussions, but at the moment we are all in agreement about the future direction of Leeds Mind and Touchstone in Leeds. Q. Will there still be a Mind in Leeds? What will the new organisation be called? A. Whatever legal entity the merged organisation takes, it will still be affiliated to national Mind and the word Mind will be part of the new name. There is no agreement yet on what the new name might be as this will be part of the 6 month consultation process.

Q. How will people be kept informed of developments? A. Regular updates will be sent out and posted on both websites. Managers will share updates with staff, volunteers and service users in person. Any questions at any point can be asked of managers at Leeds Mind or Touchstone. Q. When will all this happen? A. Leeds Mind and Touchstone trustees hope we can set up a shadow merged organisation before Christmas 2012, but we need to complete the process of due diligence first which looks at any legal and financial issues we may need to consider/address. Following this, the 6 month consultation period will begin and decisions about the final structure and legal form will be made by the whole Board probably around June 2013. All timings are approximate though and subject to change, depending on what emerges from the consultation. We will not rush the process but will move forward according to the needs of everyone involved. We will update this FAQs document regularly so that everyone can be kept in the loop. Q. Who will be the Chief Executive? A. At the moment it is expected that the current Chief Executive of Touchstone will take on this role. The CEO of Leeds Mind has indicated her desire to step

down and will leave when the timing is right. Until then both senior teams will work together on the due diligence and merger plans. Q. Where will head office be and what will happen to the buildings? A. There is no decision yet on things like this and all this will be part of the consultation process. We are fortunate in being well spread across Leeds. The Touchstone Chief Executive will be based at a Leeds Mind building for the first 6 months during the consultation exercise. Q. What will happen with the two boards of trustees? A. There will be a combined board but we havent yet worked out how this will be constructed. This will be part of the consultation process. Q. What will this merger cost? A. We will do as much of the work internally as we possibly can to keep the costs as low as possible but there will be some external expense on legal and accounting issues. A budget will be worked out as our plans advance. Q. What happens next? A. Firstly we need to make sure weve told everyone who needs to know that these plans are underway and to enable everyone to ask the questions they have. Well be beginning the planning for the due diligence very shortly and determining what professional advice we need. Both organisations will be reporting on progress to their boards in September. There is lots more planning to do but we couldnt really get on with the detail of this until wed told people. A firmer plan will now be developed and well keep everyone in touch. It is our intention to move as quickly as we can but we cant determine yet what the likely timescales will be. Q. What will happen if this merger doesnt go ahead? A. Both organisations are financially stable and have their existing separate strategies and plans. Whilst this merger planning is underway both organisations will continue to focus on their own service users and services and indeed looking at new opportunities as they arise, so each could still function independently. Neither organisation wants to lose momentum so we will still continue to work on new initiatives as opportunities arise.