PCOs grapple with organisational change
SummaryThe time has arrived for primary care trusts to shed their provider functions, and it is causing considerable angst in the community services sector. It was inevitable that sooner or later, the split would have to happen, but now the race is on to decide what organisation model they want to adopt: foundation trust or social enterprise?
The Department of Health is keen on the social enterprise model. They are so keen that they have offered community services trusts the ‘right to request’ transferable pensions NHS for all their current NHS staff, funded by the Department of Health. And at an average of 35% of salary costs, being able to offer maintenance of their NHS pension rights will be a significant benefit for staff that might otherwise have been lost.
The concept behind social enterprise is an interesting one. The idea is to give providers all the benefits and freedoms of being commercial organisations, whilst retaining at their core the philosophy of operating for the social good. In many ways, it is more of a philosophy and culture change than an organisational one. And where it is working well, it is really inspiring change and an increased focus on the needs of patients.
Understanding how social enterprise is developing and the impact it is having within the health service will be important. A social enterprise usually puts the patient at the centre of their business and is interested in new and different ways with their suppliers, including those who make the medicines they use. This could lead to greater exploration of collaboration with industry or other organisations around disease management initiatives.
A more commercially focused organisation may also be more attracted to arguments that medicines help prevent hospitalisation. Future community trust contracts with commissioners may include incentives for successfully preventing hospitalisation, so understanding how the contractual processes for community services are developing will help you to tailor your communications and business cases.PDC Healthcare
PDC Healthcare is keeping close to this agenda. When it comes to working with community services providers we have an extensive track record. We helped with set up and development of several of these organisations and we know their needs. We know several clients who are specifically seeking to work with industry in partnership. We can help you to succeed by fast tracking your access, understanding and communication.