On 4 December NHS Confederation hosted their annual Christmas debate and reception. This year's debate focussed on who holds power and influence in health and who is accountable. Some key takeaways from the session included:

1. There is no "one size fits all" solution to all the challenges of trying to meet the healthcare needs of the public. Local solutions need to be found and they will vary from area to area but everyone benefits from collaboration, partnership working, and sharing best practice. Localities are getting on with shaping what they want/need, rather than being told what to do.

2. Whilst the Long Term Plan sets the vision/strategy, staff and patient surveys/advocates are often the best way of learning how to design, and deliver, the services everybody wants.

3. Staff are the most important resource and need to be involved in decision making as well as delivery.

4. As the health service is focussing on health and wellbeing, as well as than illness, Health and Wellbeing Boards may hold systems accountable.

5. Integration means relationships between all the healthcare organisations and between health and local government are very important. Effective partnerships mean looking at outcomes for patients/people. We need to understand what works to get to the desired outcomes and what systems are needed to enable great results. Successful integration involves health, social care, housing, education, independent/charity work, and patients. Engagement at all levels is a fundamental part of successful integration. Connections and trust are needed for effective collaboration.

6. Everyone needs to be realistic about what can be achieved and how fast. We need politicians and the public with us. They need to know what is possible and, if something is not possible, why. Absolute honesty, openness and transparency are key. Mistakes happen and we need to show we've acknowledged and learnt from them.

7. The patient experience should be the same across the country. Patients rightly demand and expect good standards of care and treatment. There needs to be uniformity/consistency, leveraging of benefits from networks, investment, enthusiasm for embracing technology and innovation, and a local/national/international community striving for excellence.

8. We should all feel optimistic about the future and seize the opportunities on offer.

How Capsticks can help

Capsticks prides itself on helping to keep its clients one step ahead and enabling solutions to deliver on the integration agenda and NHS Long Term plan. We provide a range of advice and services including:

  • facilitating discussions between key stakeholders in order to progress integration projects in a legally safe and sound manner;
  • advising on key contractual structures and arrangements including due diligence on existing contractual and Section 75 Partnership Arrangements and any required variations and/or procurement implications of moving to the commissioning and delivery of services on an integrated basis;
  • assisting with the development of appropriate staffing solutions (including TUPE, sharing staff and/or passporting arrangements);
  • governance advice to ensure that decision making and governance on an integrated basis is effective and safe;
  • data sharing and contracts for digital solutions to enable change to be delivered at scale and pace across a range of organisations; and
  • advising on the best approach when existing arrangements are no longer fit for purpose or delivering the required outcomes, in order to reach the best and most cost effective solutions between parties.