We recently hosted one of our regular public sector lunches where 13 organisations joined us to discuss some of the innovative projects they are working on which are set to transform how patients and citizens interact and engage with public services. So without further ado, let’s find out what our attendees had to say…
The UK public sector landscape is notoriously complex – from central government departments and agencies to NHS Trusts, clinical commissioning groups, local councils, emergency services, schools, colleges and universities, to housing associations, care homes and social care (to name but a few!)
Operating almost completely independently, these public sector bodies struggle to communicate across organisations. Heralded as the solution by many, joining up is seen as a way to reduce duplication, make efficiency savings and improve public service outcomes. In recent years, fiscal constraint and rising demand have only increased the pressure on local and central leaders to join up and break down entrenched organisational silos. Although there is broad agreement on the need to join up, there is little agreement on what this actually means, what approaches work best or whether particular models are more effective than others.
One organisation that is overcoming these obstacles to adopt an ecosystem approach to join up services is the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA).
GMCA’s ambition is to completely reform public services to improve the lives of people in Greater Manchester. The GMCA is made up of the ten Greater Manchester councils and the Mayor, who work with other local services, businesses, communities and other partners to improve the city-region. A variety of boards, panels and committees look specifically at areas like transport, health and social care, planning and housing.
By joining up services such as transport for Greater Manchester, the emergency services, local authorities and national and regional funding sources, GMCA is aiming to deliver public sector transformation by maximising opportunities and resources, enabling joint working on opportunities and ensuring gaps are closed.
This new model will be based on a fresh relationship with citizens and will mean freeing up the frontline, devolving power and allocating resources around need more effectively. Each neighbourhood area will be served by an integrated place-based team, with co-located professionals from all relevant public services working together. These teams will be supported by more specialist teams operating at a locality, cluster or Greater Manchester level. Instead of a drive towards more institutions, fragmentation and outsourcing, it is about the very opposite – one integrated public service team ethos.
As part of their 3-year plan, GMCA is hoping to increase digital inclusion (the number of adults
who have all 5 basic digital skills) to 80%. They also hope to increase employment and skills in digital and creative industries from 86,000 to 96,000 and grow the city’s economic growth by a further £2bn by 2029.
For several years, discussions around patient-controlled records have promised to lay the foundations for better informed, more engaged patients; a more mature doctor-patient relationship, shorter consultations, fewer errors, and a means of integrating services—in short, the holy grail of modern healthcare; improved outcomes at lower cost. In the UK we’ve yet to see this this level of patient control rolled out nationally, but this is all changing.
Most information across Health & Social Care is held on disparate IT systems where it can’t be easily accessed by those directly involved with the citizen. Without this interoperability, no carer can know as much about the person as they should or indeed need to. Tests may be repeated, inappropriate care may be given and hospital stays may be extended. To address this issue, the North West Shared Infrastructure Services (NWSIS) team launched the Lancashire Person Record Exchange Service (LPRES) – a programme to deliver a joint approach to information sharing HIE platform from world leading, Healthcare Information Exchange Solution Provider, Tiani-Spirit.
The Tiani health information exchange enables relevant information to be available to authorised members of clinical and social care teams, in order to support the delivery of timely patient care. With patient consent, data from the GP record, acute and community providers is made available across the health economy on demand. By providing a centralised technology platform and programme support mechanism to facilitate the exchange of information about citizens, LPRES has improved efficiencies for front line care givers, transformed patient care by enabling new ways of working, and empowered citizens across Lancashire and South Cumbria to have access to their health and social care record in order to participate in their own care management. Collaborating and sharing information about patients and service users across care boundaries, equips care givers with access to the right information, at the point of care delivery. This is vital in enabling them to improve continuity of care, as well as reducing unnecessary diagnostic tests and providing more efficient services for patients and their carers.
Above are just two examples of the way public services are now evolving to be more citizen and patient centric. Our public services have both strengths and challenges. Communities are growing increasingly complex and there is significant pressure on resources. Public sector organisations are now beginning to realise that we can no longer respond with the same thinking and ways of working as we have always done. We need to change underlying organisational assumptions, previously driven by a siloed national government, so we can ensure public services build on the strengths of citizens and their needs.
Feeling inspired? To hear about how the NHS and local councils can join forces using shared data to provide better healthcare, watch our interview with Joe Wolski, Head of Public Cloud at ANS, here.