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Case study: NELFT, EPUT and Provide NHS Integration

Client: North East London NHS FT (NELFT), Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) and Provide CIC


Date: December 2019 - Present


Challenges faced by the clients: NELFT, Provide and EPUT are Community Care Providers in the Mid and South Essex Care Partnership, which will be required to move towards an Integrated Care System by 2021. At present, the merger of the three acute trusts continues to be the main development within the system although with the focus on Primary Care Networks this has seen greater interest in the role of community and mental health providers. From a strategic point of view, both NELFT and Provide are aware of the national and regional move towards vertical and horizontal integration across the health and care sector and are eager to become the architects of their own futures, starting to strengthen their partnership before external factors impact adversely on their position in the market.


NELFT and Provide are well placed to develop a cohesive and comprehensive Community Health offer, increasing their foothold and protecting against competition. For the first phase of the project, NELFT and Provide commissioned MV to assess all options for the onward journey of collaboration.


Support offered: Mutual Ventures and Bevan Brittan were asked to support NELFT and Provide to explore the potential benefits of new delivery models for Community Health services in Mid and South Essex. As part of this exploration, the partner organisations wished to look at whether changes to legal and organisational structures could provide a stronger platform for joint working, improve outcomes for people in the region, and protect the organisations’ position in the market.


In the first phase of the project, MV developed an Option Appraisal report outlining all options for integration between NELFT and Provider, ranging from merger/acquisitions to IPC/lead provider contracts, corporate and contractual joint ventures and remaining as-in with increased collaboration.


MV run a number of workshops with key senior stakeholders from both organisations to understand the organisation’s strategic objectives, needs and priorities, as well as to understand of NELFT and Provide could address a number of technical considerations for delivering services through a new delivery model, governance structures and financial considerations for each of the shortlisted options.


Based on the findings from the first phase, EPUT expressed the desire to join the partnership with NELFT and Provide, joining for the second phase of the project, which consisted in the development of a Full Business Case of the preferred option. The Business Case included a detailed investigation of the costs, benefits and risks of implementing the new delivery model, in readiness for the Integrated Care Provider model.


Outcome achieved: As a result of the Option Appraisal it was recommended for NELFT, Provide and EPUT to build the partnership in the form of a contractual joint venture agreement, as a first step. The recommendation had unanimous support from all Boards.