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Case Study: Mid and South Essex Community Provider Collaborative

Updated: Jan 12, 2023

Clients: Provide CIC, North East London NHS Foundation Trust & Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust

Date: December 2019 - Current

Challenges faced by the client:

Mutual Ventures and Bevan Brittan have been supporting Provide CIC, North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT), and Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) in the exploration of provider collaborative models for Community Services in Mid and South Essex.

Support offered:

MV conducted an options appraisal considering various delivery and contractual models, and the benefits and disadvantages of each. A subsequent report was presented to each of the sovereign Boards, and business case development was approved, focusing on a Contractual Joint Venture as an interim state, while further exploration of the risks and benefits of potential end-state models was conducted, including Lead Provider and Corporate Joint Venture models.

This interim state provided a way to embed a system-wide view of Community Health provision across Mid and South Essex and a legal basis for strategic and operational alignment between the three providers, without change to the existing commissioning structures or the existing organisations. The Contractual Joint Venture wraps around the service contracts, enabling the establishment of a sustainable partnership with equal levels of control, preventing the emergence of a hierarchical delivery model. It allowed the partner organisations to retain their operational and structural independence, and protected organisational culture, while at the same time enabling improved outcomes and exploration of increased efficiency.

Current status:

Following analysis of policies across all three organisations, including Schemes of Delegation, the Contractual Joint Venture was designed to enable the establishment of a single governance structure, led by a Community Collaborative Board. Mutual Ventures led the establishment and coordination of an Implementation programme, using both programme management and change management methodologies.

Ten programme work streams were established, led and facilitated by Mutual Ventures, including Property and Assets, Contracting & Procurement, Information Governance and Workforce. These work streams reviewed current business processes and focused on increasing alignment and maximising synergies across all three organisations. With support from Mutual Ventures, the Governance Work stream developed the Terms of Reference for the Community Collaborative Board, Joint Operational Group, and Performance and Quality Subcommittees.

The Contractual Joint Venture Agreement was signed by all three organisations in March 2021 and the programme has now transitioned to the ‘build phase’, focusing initially on transformational initiatives for the ‘Mid and South Essex Community Collaborative’. Mutual Ventures has produced a Target Operation Model and is now developing the Business Plan aligned to the Community Collaborative Board’s transition to decision-making form.

Outcome achieved:

With guidance and support from MV and Bevan Brittan, it was agreed by all three parties that a Contractual Joint Venture was the most suitable interim delivery model. All work streams required for implementation ran smoothly throughout the programme and met all their objectives. The Community Collaborative Board is now meeting monthly and reviewing the evolving strategy and Target Operating Model. The Joint Operational Group, which reports directly to the Community Collaborative Board, is leading the ‘build phase’, developing a range of transformational initiatives and monitoring outcomes.


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