In other words, what sort of organisation do we want to be? What contribution should we be making? And what does this mean for where we are going?
So over the last six months or so, we have been doing work to be clearer about our longer term strategy and to ‘refresh’ our organisational narrative. We have been clear that high quality care and support is at the heart of our approach but, as I have indicated previously, we need to consider what this means in the context of the resources we have and the way care models are changing through the LCO work.
This important stream of work on strategy sits alongside work to change the way the organisation is run to create a more positive, enabling culture; as well as getting on and delivering some of the improvement priorities we know we have now, such as safe staffing, strengthening our informatics, and preparing for CQC inspection in the autumn.
Over the last year I have talked about all of these three areas (Strategy; Culture change; Delivery Priorities) but today I wanted to say a little bit more about how we are developing our strategy.
Over the next few months work in this area is really going to ramp up as we are hoping to have a much clearer strategy by the end of December. We are hoping to have a draft by the end of October so that we can use November and December to engage with people on what this might mean and to help shape any final approach.
In order to get to this place, there are three key pieces of work taking place over the next few months:
- Commissioning intentions - we are working with CCGs and local authorities to confirm their commissioning intentions going forward with regards to community services. The current contracts we hold for our community services technically end in March 2019 (with the exception of Trafford, for which we agreed a contract extension to March 2020). So, we need to have clarity with our commissioners about what role they see us playing in the provision of community services in the future; and consider the best alignment with developing LCOs
- Clinical and financial sustainability - we need to complete the work we have been doing with our commissioners over the last six months on service reviews and how best we can match service offers to the resources we collectively have so that we don’t compromise quality and safety. This work is due to come to a conclusion soon and the outcomes will clearly be helping shape decisions about our strategy going forwards
- Vision and Values - we are also working on reviewing our vision and values. Regardless of what services we deliver, it’s important that we define what kind of organisation we want to be? I put you, our staff at the heart of this, and more work will follow in the coming months to flesh this out
Building on the last point above, I am keen that we move quickly on this work given its importance. During August we will be holding a number of small workshops with people who’ve already been involved in the cultural audit work to help shape our vision and values.
Once we have a first ‘clay pot’ of these, they will be tested out at bigger events with key leaders across the Trust in September, October and November, and in particular, we want our staff in these events to help shape a supporting behaviours framework. This will be followed by a big event in early December to share more widely – so watch this space for details about the events which should be out shortly.
As I mentioned earlier, the overall intent is to use all this work to set a clear strategy for the Trust to be signed off at the December Board meeting.
I acknowledge that for some time there has been rumour and speculation regarding the Trust’s future and this has created anxiety and uncertainty for staff. I am hoping that the process outlined above will help to crystallise our future direction, although I also acknowledge that in doing so, the potential for change itself creates concerns about what it might mean. This is especially the case in Trafford as we have advised staff and partners that we are doing some specific work with partners to explore the options for the future provision of community services in that locality.
I know that what is happening in Trafford, and wider in some of the discussions people are having through LCO development, could create uncertainty about the future for some people. I am committed to being as upfront with you as early as possible about any proposed changes; and open and transparent in engaging with you on our plans for the future as they evolve and develop.
I would like to reassure you that all partners see the valuable role that our services provide. In every discussion I am part of, there is recognition of the hugely significant value our services play; of the immensely committed staff we have; and of our expertise in delivering a broad range of services. All of this means that I am confident we will continue to have an important role and make a positive contribution in the future.