The newly announced Integrated care and support accord paves the way for truly joined-up care within five years. It sets out proposals to co-ordinate services across England, and defines for the first time what is meant by the phrase ‘integrated care and support’. The Department of Health, Local Government Association, NHS England and the Care Quality Commission are amongst the dozen bodies pledging ‘to make joined-up and co-ordinated health and care the norm’.
An Integrated Care and Support Exchange will be established to help organisations work together; the flexibilities to pool funds will be “clarified” to show how these can bring together council and health service spending. Councils can bid for pioneer status and develop “ambitious” plans that lad the way for others, with plans for service integration being devised and implemented from September. Existing structures like Health and Wellbeing Boards should be used to unite local authorities, the NHS, social care providers, education, housing services and public health to improve local integration of services.
The Health Secretary has said that the reforms needed to happen “at scale and at pace”, and that “this will become the standard model for everyone with health and care needs.” The NHS Confederation has pledged its support for an initiative designed to break down the oft-discussed barriers between health and social care provision. The LGA sees Health and Wellbeing Boards, as a crucial platform to ensuring that public money is used effectively, and as helping to allay their recently voiced concerns about the future funding of care services.
So is this the best Trojan Horse possible for the kind of joined-up, holistic and place-centric thinking and action that is local government’s only real hope of succeeding in a cuts driven environment?
While public health is hardly new territory for councils – more than 80 public health directors were joint appointments between councils and primary care trusts – this feels like it could be pretty momentous stuff. As ever (and I hate to pick holes in something that has all the hallmarks of a Good Thing) the devil is in the detail.
Tying all of this together with current budget planning and Council’s reaction to the looming CSR will be akin to wrestling with a Hydra, especially for those authorities not exactly at the leading edge of localism, and let’s face it, they are in the majority.
Identifying and deploying the capacity and capability to make this happen will be a huge task, and yet another drain on already scarce and much sought-after skills around collaborative working, commissioning and the leadership of transformational change. The NHS is still a very closed shop so has much further to move here given its track record of not accepting outsiders into the fold. Those who already straddle the divide will be very popular indeed I suspect.
I wonder what the views of you in the market, potentially poised to benefit from further sweeping change across the local government landscape are? Are you optimistic or pessimistic at what you see about to happen? As ever it would be good to hear from you.
David Hunter is Head of Local Government for Interim Partners.
Are you as surprised and mystified as I am by some of the objections being raised about the Government’s plans for (Local Enterprise Partnerships) LEP funding?
Claiming that it would waste money, some commentators are urging the Coalition not to make Local Enterprise Partnerships compete for their slice of the proposed single local growth fund.
The idea of a single funding pot (containing as much as £49billion) was one of Lord Heseltine’s recommendations to encourage and stimulate economic development. The Chancellor has given this the thumbs up, releasing from central control money for housing, skills and transport from 2015.
At the heart of George Osborne’s thinking here is competition. He does not want to see the pot sliced up or allocated according to pre-arranged criteria, instead he wants the robustness of plans and quality of bids submitted to be the determining factors. To quote the Treasury; “competitive tension…will strengthen incentives…to unleash local areas to generate growth and drive collaboration.”
However, not everyone is filled with joy at the prospect of having plans scrutinised and tested in this way, presumably for fear of being found wanting and triggering some kind of Darwinian survival of the fittest. The Core Cities Group (eight core cities outside London) want the money doled out effectively pro-rata without any gateway test of the viability of the plans of each LEP. Indeed, they see bidding as a “waste of time” and perhaps confuse the Government’s desire for competition for funding with an unwillingness to let go of the purse strings?
My instinct is that this competitive element will be essential to maintain a high quality of decision making within the LEPs – doling out the money without regard for need or ability to deliver has got us into trouble before, and is likely to do so again. This is a huge opportunity to drive regional growth – its chances of success should be maximised and not diluted.
Do you agree? Or do you think that this will end up rewarding the best bidders rather than the neediest areas?
David Hunter is the Head of Local Government for Interim Partners.
If the UK is serious about re-balancing the economy and rejuvenating manufacturing in the UK would it not make perfect sense for Birmingham International Airport to be a priority for aviation expansion rather than Heathrow or the “River Thames Airport”?
According to Birmingham International Airport CEO Paul Kehoe the answer is a resounding yes.
The below report makes for very interesting reading as does Katie Allen’s article in the Guardian.
This seems like a relatively quick and common sense solution and begs the question why it has not been thought of before.
As always I am interested in your thoughts.
Claire Lauder is the Senior Manufacturing Consultant for Interim Partners.
In our recent experience there’s one word on the lips of senior executives we’ve spoken to about their go-to-market and business strategy. It’s not ‘Digital’, ‘Mobile’, or ‘Social’, although all are certainly hot topics. It’s also not ‘Profit’, albeit this is intrinsically important. The word that repeatedly plays a central role in our conversations and subsequent work is ‘Proposition’.
When you are talking about the letter P in business it’s easy to be drawn to thinking about marketing. The world of marketing has long been known for the 4 P’s of Product, Price, Place, Promotion. For service industries, this is often expanded to 7, to include People, Process, and Physical evidence. If you group all these together you get what in recent years has variously been referred to as ‘Positioning’, ‘Brand’, ‘Product’, or ‘Offer’. Today it’s what businesses are preferring to call ‘Proposition’.
Meetings and various current pieces of client work aside, I can think of no better example than a recent job spec I saw advertised on LinkedIn. It was for a head of proposition role and in the 8 bullet points that made up the advert the word ‘proposition’ was mentioned no less than 12 times. The job holder would be required to ‘deliver innovative and insight driven customer centric propositions and to ‘lead the business in the delivery of customer value propositions’, to ‘own and be accountable for the delivery of the brand proposition strategy’, and to ‘lead the business to create, shape and evolve new proposition ideas and opportunities.’ Finally, the ad specified that ‘Applicants will possess recent and significant propositions experience.’ Just in case you weren’t sure.
Let’s be clear, this is a very important job in any company. Call it what you like but this is the absolutely critical role of shaping the go-to-market strategy. It involves all the 7 P’s of marketing, a large slab of commercial and business acumen, and the ability to act strategically to create competitive differentiation and, most critcally, to unite the key functions of within the business behind a common purpose.
Every CEO has a deep interest in this aspect of their business, because it is fundamental and without clarity of proposition it’s impossible to expect to be commercially successful. That’s why it’s important to develop a framework and approach to help define, test, launch, manage, measure and refine your proposition whilst also embedding it across your business.
Julian Wells is the Director of Whitecap Consulting.
In the advance of their conference in July the LGA has started a teaser campaign of pre-announcements about what Sir Merrick Cockell is calling a radical reform plan for Councils. These plans will set out fresh ways of allocating funding and providing services.
This new model for local government seeks to address financial sustainability, the future of adult social care services, welfare reform, economic growth as well as exploring the additional powers could be devolved to create an ‘independent’ local government sector.
This comes hot on the heels of the release of NLGN’s report “Gaming the Cuts”, which I commented on in my first blog, and it should come as no surprise that Simon Parker, its Director is a strong advocate given that NLGN has long been flying the localism flag. In his comments on the press reports he supports the drive for “a historic national settlement” that will stop the cuts being an end in itself without enough thought being given to the shape of local government that will be the legacy of the current financial climate.
There is an understandable desire on the part of the LGA to define the future of local government by laying the groundwork that will enable it to happen. Independence is the word that crops up again and again in the quest for powers to be devolved from the centre to enable the kind of reshaping envisaged to take place.
Graham Allen, the chair of the Political & Constitutional Reform Select Committee, is also a fan of thinking that builds on the direction of travel the committee have been advocating, waxing lyrical about ‘free[ing] tremendous amounts of innovation, creativity and money if we make the best of local government by setting it free.’
The hope is that this hoped for greater autonomy and power will trigger economic growth and investment in infrastructure at the local level. This feels like a bit of a leap and smacks of asserting a causal link because it aligns with some deeply held beliefs.
Devolving and reshaping powers in the ways that are being hinted at will not change things on its own – indeed, without consistently high levels of leadership and operational excellence across the sector progress is likely to be patchy at best and stillborn at worst. The elephant in the room is that the talent pool isn’t deep enough and hasn’t been stirred vigorously enough in recent years to deliver the capacity to succeed.
So all things considered do you think that these plans are an idea whose time has come or words that will struggle to be turned into action?
David Hunter is the Head of Local Government for Interim Partners.
The latest report by the Scottish Council for Development and Industry informs us that exports relating to the Oil & Gas industry are now worth £17.2bn and have grown for the 14th year in a row.
So with the ongoing debate surrounding the focus of UK commerce and trade, is the Oil & Gas industry a shining example of how to re-balance our economy both by sector and geography?
The statistics are as follows:
International Exports (which are defined as non-EU) for the sector, included an 8.4% rise on the year before.
- North America accounted for 32% of this figure.
- Africa remained the second most important region taking up 15% of the total which included a 5.9% increase in sales.
- Angola, Norway, the United States, Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates were the largest markets for Oil & Gas exports.
- Sales activity from the Oil & Gas supply chain was recorded in 106 different country markets (non-EU).
The growing importance international markets have to play in the long-term future of UK plc are clear for all to see. As the continuing problems in the eurozone appear to remain as complex as ever to resolve, coupled with a difficult domestic economy, should Oil & Gas’s lead be followed so that we focus our attention elsewhere?
As always, I would welcome your thoughts.
Jonathan Mooney is the Senior Energy Consultant for Interim Partners.
As the cuts continue to bite the headlines continue to get ever more apocalyptic. “The end of local government as we know it” was the eye catching quote from Birmingham’s Leader emblazoned across reporting of the recent LGA survey on the state of adult and children’s services.
The statistics are certainly grim – children’s social care budgets are being cut by as much as 40% according to the NSPCC, and some £2bn has been cut from adult social care in real terms, according to ADASS. More sobering is the fact that the worst is yet to come, with frontline services no longer protected and a near unanimous view that more savings will be needed post June, and that these savings will not be manageable.
Many avenues are being explored in an attempt to deal with this:
Casting my mind back to my previous blog on the future of local government leadership, methinks that the elephant in the room remains the need for people to take control of events instead of either musing on what needs to be done or enthusiastically grasping at the latest miracle cure for cuts without the concurrent realisation that actions speak louder than words.
What do those of you out there dealing with the reality of this on a day-to-day basis think?
David Hunter is the Head of Local Government for Interim Partners.
I’m sure like most of us, you have been both appalled and touched by some of the stories and images coming out of Bangladesh in recent weeks as a result of the collapse of an eight story factory building in Dhaka close to the Bangladesh capital.
For as long as I can remember, the retail sector has always strived to achieve the right balance between driving down the cost of product, to the benefit of the consumer, whilst maintaining a level of quality that suggests genuine value for money. Inevitably, many supply chains have become increasingly complex to cope with the truly global nature of sourcing and the pressure to reduce lead times to make the entire value chain more efficient.
I appreciate that for many businesses who engage suppliers in this part of the world and beyond, it is unrealistic and nigh on impossible to say with certainty that the integrity of the buildings and indeed the machinery meet with appropriate safety standards. I dare say we might see a slight increase in many of our well known high street names now investing more in ensuring that working environments and the safety of a suppliers’ workforce is higher on their agenda.
That got me thinking. Over the last two decades we have seen more and more British manufacturers lose out to international suppliers based primarily on cost. Some would have you believe that we are starting to see a slight increase in British manufacturing again particularly around the clothing and textiles arena in favour of better quality product that is locally produced.
My question is this:
Would you be prepared to pay slightly more for British manufactured goods, knowing not only the quality was arguably better, but as importantly knowing that the workers who produced the product were earning a fare wage for a fair day’s work, were operating in safe and secure surrounding and above all, helping in some small way to support our rather sluggish economy?
Jason Oakley is the Head of Retail for Interim Partners.
It’s been a busy weekend with BBQs, gardening, landscaping, bike riding and all those little DIY projects that I’ve been putting off for the last few months.
So I felt exhausted going to bed last night but strangely content that lots had been done and that the lists of things to do had been given a good dusting off!
Walking into work this morning it would seem that everyone had a spring in their step, happy with their extended weekends and seemingly not too miserable about walking into an office this morning whilst the weather outside continues to be glorious.
So aside from the well documented Seasonal Affective Disorder changing the behaviours of many, I’m interested to know what changes you make to the way you work and operate in the business workplace when the weather is good. A flexible day, a full lunch break taken outside, exercise before and after work, a run at lunchtime perhaps? Everyone seems to feel better about themselves when the sun is out.
On top of the additional activities that we give ourselves, do people also feel more engaged and “can do” about the work we’re doing and projects that we’re starting?
If this is the case then I’ll be looking forward to being bowled over by client requests this week, unless of course they’re still in the garden.
Your thoughts as always are greatly appreciated!
Simon Gough is Director of Private Equity for Interim Partners.
Many of the interims in our network are consistently enthusiastic about living the life an interim manager with all of the flexibility, variety and financial rewards that it can bring.
However, there are some downsides such as the feast and famine nature of interim assignments, long days, high pressure and working away from home.
It’s the final one of those things I thought I would focus on in my monthly blog. As someone who lives in the north but works in central London I do have at least a couple of days in a hotel away from my family per week, but that isn’t as extensive as the four nights away from home that is typical of interim managers on assignment.
I am interested to hear any tips that interims may be able to share with each other on how to spend the evenings. Clearly we all use them as an opportunity to do extra work but there is often some free time, what good ideas are there for how to make the most of the evenings spent away?
Secondly, how receptive are your clients to you working from home on Fridays and at what point in your experience is it appropriate to ask the question?
Andrew McIntee is Director of Financial Services for Interim Partners.