Croydon Health Services NHS Trust and NHS Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have today published plans, continuing their partnership working to improve health and wellbeing of people in the borough and strengthen future services.
Building on the success of the One Croydon Alliance, with partners across the borough, the Trust and the CCG are seeking to transform services further by working together to better plan and deliver care in Croydon.
The proposals follow the appointment last month (April 2019) of a Joint Chief Nurse and Executive Director of Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals – the first senior management post shared across the Trust and CCG.
Both organisations also share a Joint Chief Pharmacist which has helped to improve the service patients receive, to get more seamless care between hospital and primary services, saving time and money.
Announcing their closer partnership, the Trust and CCG want to bring together more common functions – removing duplication and freeing-up resources for the frontline and to support clinical staff.
The ambition is to start with the appointment of a single leader for the Trust and the CCG in Croydon, supported by a committee in common, with members from both organisations to consider strategy, transformation and finance decisions.
Today’s proposals set out how the partnership will work including:
- Shared forums for certain key functions including finance and quality;
- Shared functions and/or roles that are employed jointly by both organisations, as well as joint executive posts
- Shared strategic priorities and a single delivery plan
- A single budget and financial plan including a combined target for 2019/20
For patients, the approach will ensure high quality joined-up care, wherever they seek treatment. For Trust and CCG staff, it will deliver greater opportunities to develop their careers, while increased alignment between the two organisations can also reinforce the financial future for health care in Croydon.
Mike Bell, Chairman of Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, said: “Both the Trust and the CCG have the same goals of making services better for patients and improving our support for staff. Bringing both organisations closer together ensures the best possible spend for the Croydon pound and free-up resources to support further quality improvements on the frontline.
“Croydon is ahead of the curve in London to take forward the NHS Long Term Plan and has an amazing opportunity to ultimately bring the whole health and care system together to improve the wellbeing of all. Our two organisations have been in discussions for some time to identify areas where we can better work together to deliver real transformation for the people of Croydon. This proposed partnership is the next step on the journey towards broader alignment with our Croydon partners.”
The proposals are a first for the NHS in Croydon and London and are in line with the NHS Long term plan. The two organisations have agreed one financial control total – setting the targets they will work towards together to fund healthcare and improvements to local services, while sharing financial risks and agreed priorities.
Working together, the Trust and Croydon CCG will be able to remove duplication and speed up decision making. This will help to improve recruitment and retention of staff, focus on improving quality, while innovating and redesigning care to be more efficient.
There is a track record of successful working between the Trust and the CCG and across Croydon, benefitting people’s physical and mental health. Since launching the One Croydon Alliance in 2017, there has been a 15% decrease in unplanned admissions among over 65s, via the integrated care networks and ‘GP huddles’. With recognition for ‘system-wide leadership' having a 'real impact' in improving peoples’ lives.
New integrated teams across the Trust and CCG are combining expertise to strengthen oversight and speed-up quality improvement. The shared Safeguarding Team demonstrates how combined expertise across the borough, strengthens protection for children and vulnerable people.
Compared to the average Londoner, people in Croydon have a higher rate of diabetes and heart disease. The average life expectancy between residents of the richest and poorest areas of the borough is also 10 years lower for men, and 6 years lower for women – these areas are only a 30 minute bus ride apart.
Dr Agnelo Fernandes, a local GP and Chair of NHS Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Croydon’s neighbourhoods have specific health needs which demand a distinct response, such as one in four older adults with a limiting long-term illness. We want to ensure people are well supported to live longer and better.
“We are in a very strong position to increase the alignment between our two organisations for the benefit of local people. This year, for the first time since we were established in 2013, NHS Croydon CCG has had a financial surplus and so now is a good time for us to agree this shared control total so that we can make sure we invest every pound in the best and most efficient way possible.
“Formalising our partnership between the Trust and CCG will lay the foundations for the full integration of health and social care in the borough to make Croydon a great place for people of all ages to live and thrive.”
The proposals were discussed last month as part of an open forum held at Croydon University Hospital. Patients and members of the public were given early sight of the plans and had the chance to discuss them at the event held on Tuesday 16 April.
The proposals were published online following a public meeting of the Governing Body of NHS Croydon CCG and the Trust Board of Croydon Health Services NHS Trust on Tuesday 14 May.
Read more about our partnership plans