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Case study: Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust

Updated: Apr 15, 2021

Client: Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust

Date: September 2019 – December 2020

Challenges faced by the client: Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust (PCFT) are the lead organisation in a partnership spanning across Greater Manchester which delivers the Manchester Resilience Hub (MRH).

MRH was established in November 2017 in the direct aftermath of the Manchester Arena attack, and offers mental health support to the children and families affected by the attack. MRH was initially established with a time limited funding platform, running for 2 years after the attack. Mutual Ventures were engaged when this funding was coming to an end.

Practitioners within MRH held the strong belief that the crucial work MRH was doing to support the mental health of young people and their families in Manchester and beyond could not be allowed to end. This view was shared by partner organisations across Manchester, and by the patients that MRH work with. MRH has received consistently excellent feedback from patients, and has become a recognised leader in trauma response therapy despite its relatively short existence.

However, difficulties with governance processes, limited workforce and uncertain funding meant MRH approached Mutual Ventures for support.

Support offered: PCFT engaged Mutual Ventures to consider alternative delivery models for MRH, with a view to MRH becoming a sustainable and financially viable independent entity.

Mutual Ventures developed a strategic options appraisal to appraise the case for MRH transitioning to a new delivery model. The case for externalisation rested on improving governance arrangements to enable more streamlined decision-making processes, providing financial security and a platform to explore greater growth opportunities and ensuring a stable and balanced workforce.

To support the exploration of these strategic objectives, Mutual Ventures facilitated a number of workshops with stakeholders from across the partner Trusts engaged in MRH, including frontline staff.

In partnership with our legal partners, Bevan Brittan, Mutual Ventures advised on the technical and legal considerations that MRH would need to overcome to establish a wholly separate delivery model. Bevan Brittan’s expert advice and support on a number of tricky technical issues – such as the key issues of continued use of NHS Branding and data sharing – was invaluable in building a robust and objective case.

Through consideration of a number of options, and working closely with the client team, MV proposed that a contractual joint venture between the four partner Trusts would be the most beneficial option to MRH. This option allowed the MRH to maintain close ties to the NHS, whilst formalising governance processes and providing a firmer financial footing for the future.

Outcome achieved: Informed by the findings of the workshops, Mutual Ventures developed a strategic options appraisal report in partnership with PCFT, which outlined a number of recommendations and a roadmap to develop a contractual joint venture for MRH.

Mutual Ventures’ key, overarching recommendation, that the partners of MRH consider a more formal contractual relationship for MRH was unanimously accepted by MRH’s board.

Due to a public inquiry into the Manchester Arena attack, and a number of legal issues surrounding the incident, the contractual joint venture has not yet been formalised. However, Mutual Ventures have maintained a strong working relationship with PCFT and MRH, and will begin to implement the contractual joint venture later in 2020.


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