A key feature of working in North East Lincolnshire is our ability to be innovative and creative. A number of care providers in North East Lincolnshire expressed a wish to work more closely together to improve services and get the most of available financial resources. Although others may join in due course, three organisations (Care Plus Group, Navigo and North Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust) are planning to formalise new arrangements for working together in order to deliver specific contracts on an integrated basis.
The basis of this new form of co-operative working is as follows.
- Each of the organisations is a provider of care within North East Lincolnshire (and elsewhere) and exists for a public or community purpose. Care Plus Group is a community benefit society; Navigo is a community interest company; and NLAG is a public benefit corporation.
- The three organisations are independent, and agree that the public or community interest is best served by each of them remaining as an independent provider.
- However, they also agree that in certain areas, the public or community interest is better served if they work co-operatively together and are not constrained by organisational boundaries.
The three organisations have already developed a high level of trust between each other, however we now wish to go further and want to formalise working arrangements between us. We are doing this based on our shared corporate commitment to public benefit; on our fundamental belief in the need for the continued independent existence of each other if community, mental health and acute services are to be optimised for the region; and on our mutual commitment to jointly put first the public interest in areas where we are working together.
The recently published Five Year Forward View looks forward to a better future which, amongst other things,
is a future that dissolves the classic divide, set almost in stone since 1948, between family doctors and hospitals, between physical and mental health, between health and social care, between prevention and treatment.
It commits to backing diverse solutions and local leadership, and getting beyond organisational boundaries, but mechanisms are needed to implement this. The Together arrangements are intended to provide such a mechanism, and they do so by focusing on the corporate commitment to public benefit embedded in the legal structure of the three participating organisations, which is the basis of our mutual trust and co-operation.
By forming trusting relationships and entering into formal commitments with organisations which have a shared public purpose, the organisations are taking an enlightened approach and establishing robust arrangements which support our determination to put the public interest first for the benefit of the local health economy.