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NHS Collaborations: Part One

January 14, 2020
By Lucy Thorp & Ed Matthews

The Challenges Facing NHS Providers

NHS Trusts and FTs were designed to be the ‘delivery units’ of the NHS provider sector and, in particular, FTs were designed to be autonomous and competing organisations. Yet this approach has created inefficiencies, unwarranted variation and forced organisations to make decisions out of organisational self-interest. In many ways the current system creates obstacles to addressing the long-term issues of quality, inequality and value within the NHS.

To address these issues, commissioners and providers are being asked to work across their boundaries as the ‘organising units’ become systems and networks. This requires collaboration: put simply, an exchange between organisations in which all participants feel they benefit. Collaboration can allow organisations to accomplish what they cannot do alone.

Teneo and Hill Dickinson have collaborated to co-author a white paper looking at these collaborative models within the NHS. The review will be spread across two reports – the first, ‘A practical guide to collective decision making by providers’, looks at horizontal collaboration between similar-type organisations within the NHS. Sir David Dalton provides a foreword to the paper, which comes at a critical time for provider and system leaders, who are being tasked with working together to deliver services in a more joined-up way across wider geographies and care settings. The report is very much a practical guide to help Trusts move forward, and provides commentary on:

  • Why collaboration is more important than ever
  • What barriers exist today
  • What the various operating and legal models are that can be used
  • How organisations can develop shared decision making, and how to choose the right model
  • Some examples from across the NHS of successful collaborations

The second report will consider vertical collaboration to support integration of health and social care and will be published later in 2020.

To read the full report, please click here.

The views and opinions in these articles are solely of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Teneo. They are offered to stimulate thought and discussion and not as legal, financial, accounting, tax or other professional advice or counsel.

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