NATIONAL REPORT RELEASE- No Hospital is an Island, January 2018

Learning from the Acute Care Collaboration Vanguards, featuring the ‘Working Together Partnership’

A national report published in January 2018 ‘No hospital is an island – learning from the acute care collaborations’ has highlighted a number of successes of the Working Together Partnership Vanguard.

The report covers the learning from 13 acute care collaborations that were established in September 2015 as part of the new care models programme. It highlights common strategies that have emerged and how the skills of healthcare professionals are being used more creatively and flexibly

This national report captures where progress has been made by the ‘Working Together Partnership’ in terms of shared services, multi-site working, out of hour’s services, shared rotas and committees in common.

Optimising corporate support functions

A shared services strategy across its seven trusts (Inc. local mental health and community trusts) including human resources, payroll, finance and procurement and has created opportunities to;

  • Improve efficiency.
  • Share best practice.
  • Maximize economies of scale.
  • Achieve savings of £2 million for items such as examination and surgical gloves, needles, sutures and dressings.

 Created common approaches to;

  • Tender management and contracts database supports this approach alongside a vision for the implementation of a regional procurement catalogue.
  • Legal services and e-rostering and schemes for absence management and agency staff.

Multi-Site Working

By taking a regional approach the partnership has reduced its reliance on temporary staff to the provision of out-of-hours specialist services, therefore;

  • Shared rotas developed across the seven trusts in a number of specialties.
  • ‘Hub and spoke’ model implemented in ophthalmology to ensure consultant-led cover is provided for emergency care. This approach reduces the need for locum cover, making this model a safer and more sustainable service for the region.
  • Shared out of hours ENT rotas have enabled consultant cover to be provided for three out of hour’s hubs across the region. With a separate specialist ENT rota based at Sheffield children’s hospital; increasing quality and sustainability of ENT services.
  • Opportunities to improve the elective and emergency service including a regional approach to consultant rotas to help lessen consultant vacancies are also being explored across the region by oral and maxillofacial clinicians.

Committee in Common

The trusts are working under a joint agreement to implement managed clinical networks, standardise practice, improve informatics and generate efficiencies across clinical and corporate services.

In order to govern these joint working arrangements the partnership has established a collaboration committee known as a Committee in Common.

  • The Committee in Common involves each partnering organisation setting up its own committee and decisions are delegated to the committee, however each committee remains accountable to its retrospective board.
  • The establishment of this type of model could be tailored for a range of shared joint working arrangements.