Turning collaborative models into reality

8 June 2018

The journey from national strategy or policy paper to implementation is often a tortuous and lengthy one. Indeed, some flagship ideas are never tested in the heat of the frontline.

Well over three years after the Five Year Forward View launched a variety of new care models on an unsuspecting NHS, the pressure to deliver is starting to grow.

Primary care providers, hospitals and commissioners still grappling with the complexities in guidance and legislation as they develop collaborative care at scale are running out of time.

That’s why Robert McGough, partner with Hill Dickinson, and other speakers at PCC’s forthcoming events on ‘Partnership with a purpose: making collaboration work’ will be emphasising the practical.

McGough says: “Local health economies have to consider how they are going to practically implement their new care models. It is complex and a lot of areas are stalling because of the complexities and the interrelationship between guidance and legislation. Primary care is at the centre of this. We are going to be seeing larger primary care organisations delivering at scale whether through merger of practices, new forms of collaboration or foundation trusts.

“I’m looking forward to discussing with people attending these events just how far they have got in, identifying the perceived barriers and then using practical examples to demonstrate how we can overcome many of the challenges that undoubtedly exist.”

McGough plans on bringing representatives from organisations who are developing new approaches in their system to each event. They will share the lessons from what went well and what they would do differently if setting out again.

He says: “There is somewhat of an industrial revolution going on in primary care. We are seeing new providers taking over failing practices – and even some successful practices. I want to set out for participants how they can take a collaborative approach and overcome the gaps that exist between the law and national policy. Change is slowing in a lot of areas because of confusion caused within those gaps.”

Commissioners, he suggests, need to be clear about how they can work with providers and also commission services in this new collaborative environment when the legal architecture of the commissioner/provider split is still with us.

“That means they have to grapple with decisions such as whether to go for early procurement while making sure they don’t act outside their powers.

“If you are a provider organisation you need to ask yourself how you are going to work with commissioners – both clinical commissioning groups and NHS England. You’ve also got to work out with a range of partners and stakeholders just how formal your collaborative arrangement will be: there’s a big difference between a memorandum of understanding and a formal contract covering risk sharing around finances and delivery.”

Other speakers at the events in London. Birmingham and Manchester over the coming months include GP and primary care consultant Mike Smith and McGough’s colleague, Ruth Griffiths. She will explain how primary care is key to developing any new model of care.

You can find more information on the events and register here.

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