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Partnering up


9 February 2016

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Organisations in Stockport had already joined forces to change the health and social care of its population. So when the opportunity came along to be a vanguard, the united group was cemented

Organisations in Stockport had already joined forces to change the health and social care of its population. So when the opportunity came along to be a vanguard, the united group was cemented

Stockport Together comprises Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Stockport Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust and Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council. The four partners are working together with Viaduct Health, Stockport’s GP federation, and voluntary organisations.
As a multi-speciality community provider (MCP) vanguard site, Stockport Together aims to fundamentally reform the way health and social care is delivered to ensure the best possible outcomes for local people at a time of growing demand and restricted funding.

Setting up Stockport Together
The group, who have been working in partnership for the last 18 months, came together to address the challenges facing the borough after it was recognised that making changes within the individual organisations wasn’t going to deliver the collective results required to tackle the challenges facing Stockport.
The vision of the Stockport Together partners is to provide a truly joined up, high-quality, sustainable, modern and accessible health and care system. The health and social care organisations in Stockport see the next five years as a challenging, but pivotal period. There is a strong desire to transform the way in which health and social care is delivered and to generate improved outcomes.
In order to achieve this, a centralised governance structure has been introduced providing collective responsibility for the proposed health and social care transformation activity. A jointly funded portfolio office has been set up to support the implementation of the scheme, and all partners have contributed resources and played a full part in the arrangements.

Expected benefits
The expected outcomes from the Stockport Together partnership are healthier people, quality services and a sustainable system, which redresses the balance of care by moving care closer to peoples’ homes.
Helping the population become healthier is about focussing on providing the support to people to enable them to make healthier and more informed decisions. The ultimate aim is to reduce years of life lost or diminished due to poor physical or mental wellbeing, while narrowing inequalities.
A quality service will ensure people receive high-quality care and support in the right place, generating increased satisfaction with the health and social care services in Stockport and delivering all statutory and constitutional standards.
This system will allow Stockport’s health and social care economy to manage current and future demand within the resources available, and will ensure that partner organisations take collective responsibility for meeting this objective.

Becoming a vanguard site
When the NHS England vanguard programme was first announced, the team put together a submission after realising the initiative was concerned with exactly what the Stockport Together partnership was working towards, fitting closely to what the New Care Models teams were looking to implement.
A small team from the partner organisations went through the submission process, and pitched in London among a number of other health and social care economies. Not long after Stockport Together was announced as one of the original 29 vanguard sites, the team hosted a visit from the NHS England New Care Models team.
Despite being very early days for the Stockport Together team, the leaders from the partner organisations received really positive feedback about the progress that had been made at that point. This really buoyed the team, and we continue to be known as a site that is progressing well with plans.
This is thanks, in part, to the length of time the partners have been working towards this common goal, but also recognises the multi-agency dimension to all the planning, the integration of mental health with physical health and social care, and how much work has been completed by the programme and enabler teams.

Work to date
A lot of work has already been done to identify and understand the current state of all health and social care services provided within the borough. The team has been working with staff – from both commissioner and provider organisations, the public – including service users and informal carers, and third party organisations to map what services are currently on offer throughout the borough.
A significant amount of workforce activity has also been completed, with the team having already completed the baseline mapping of the current staff groups, roles, demographics, gaps and resources across all of the partnership organisations.
In addition to this, a number of information management and technology (IM&T) initiatives have been implemented that are setting the ground work for when the Stockport Together team moves into implementation phase. For example, this year we expect to have every practice, our out-of-hours service, the local hospice and community services using the same electronic patient record system, and to have a single telephone network in place across primary, community and secondary care.  
Completing this preliminary activity has helped the team understand what is and isn’t possible when considering plans and laid the infrastructure for new ways of working.
The Stockport Together team has supported the roll-out of the first phase of Integrated Neighbourhood Teams – a team of social workers, district nurses, occupational therapists and GPs who are responsible for co-ordinating packages of care for people within a defined neighbourhood – in Stockport, with one locality piloting a multi-disciplinary team approach. The teams in Cheadle will now work with the remaining seven localities in the borough to support the ambitious plans for wider implementation over the coming months.
We have realigned the way nursing and residential care homes are supported by primary care. Every GP Practice participates in a scheme that means there is as close as possible a one-to-one relationship between practice and care home, improving safety, quality and efficiency.   
Throughout the Stockport Together process to date, the team has been keen to ensure key stakeholders have been kept informed and are brought into the process. A number of high profile events have been held throughout the year, giving staff, the public and third sector organisations, the opportunity to both get involved and be kept up to date with progress.
A Citizens Representation Panel has been set up that brings together representatives from local panels and groups – and will provide scrutiny on the plans from a public perspective.
Furthermore, a database of interested members of the public (Stockport Citizens) is being compiled, which will be drawn on to take part in surveys and focus groups depending on their demographics.

Future plans
The Stockport Together ambitions span a five-year timeframe, with many of the changes and updates predicted to run for significantly longer. The team is currently working very hard to build the detailed plans needed for this.
For the short-term, a timeline is in place to deliver key milestones during the financial year 2016/17, and further plans are being drawn up, finalised and passed through the partner organisations’ governance and committees for approval.
The Stockport Together activity is happening at a time when more health and social care organisational design is going on than ever before. Indeed, the local partnership, MCP vanguard status and Greater Manchester devolution provide an opportunity to tackle the challenges, develop innovative approaches and transform services to create a sustainable and vibrant health and social care economy.
The team working on delivering the ambitions set out by Stockport Together are very excited about transforming the way in which health and social care is delivered in the borough for the good of the people of Stockport.

Tim Ryley, programme director, Stockport Together.

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