Posted by Steve Botham
January 12th, 2012
The recently published second set of reports from the Future Forum sets out a series of recommendations to improve the quality of patient care and achieve better outcomes. It uses some case studies to demonstrate best practice. One of them is very familiar territory for Caret – bringing together three PCTs and the City Council. In March 2010 the key stakeholders signed a section 75 agreement establishing the largest pooled budget in the country of £313 million (per year). The joint commissioning board has an independent chair (a Caret associate) and co‐located health and social care commissioning staff in order to share intelligence, use single contracts and to take advantage of different styles of commissioning.
“Through a joint approach using a care cost calculator, market development and single contracts, the team was able to balance the pooled budget for the first time in many years at the end of 2010/11 and is on balance for 2011/12, as they were able to find efficiency savings of £4 million (per year). The percentage spent on residential care has fallen, with more people receiving support in different housing options. A programme of quality assistance visits, including assessments by non‐professionals, is underway.“ (Future Focus – Integration report 10.1.12)
Caret has contributed strongly to the success in Birmingham. We ran a range of workshops to address the differences in cultures and identify shared hopes and aspirations. We identified an effective way of joint working and helped build trust and openness between all the parties. The independent Chair role has been central to the success of this programme. Our colleague Rob Sykes the former CEO of Worcester CC engaged all sides, helped shape the strategic vision and ensure there was a clear direction rather than a paralysis around different agendas. He handled tensions and issues behind the scenes and helped bring GPs on board quickly and successfully. He used his independent status to cut across conflicts, adapt to the tensions that each stakeholder was feeling due to internal pressures and changes, incorporate new members and build respect and co-operation.
The service won the regional ‘Good Commissioner’ Award at the Great British Care Awards.
Tags: Joint Commissioning