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Taking accountability for care
NHS organisations – both commissioners and Providers alongside colleagues in local authorities and third sector organisations are currently working together to develop new ways to tackle local challenges through the STP process.
The STPs, which are looking at delivering care in different ways through system-wide partnerships and accountable care organisations should, in theory and practice, drive the transformational change required within the NHS system to meet ever rising demand and hopefully tackle the well documented financial pressures.
Open and honest discussions and greater transparency
I have always been a fan of transparency – transparent and honest conversations are the only way to get things done.
Odgers Berndtson was fortunate to host a dinner with Dr Jack Cochran, executive director of the Kaiser Permanente Foundation in 2014, we were fortunate enough to be ahead of the curve, and one of the areas he discussed were Accountable Care Organisations (ACOs), which build on a history of integrated care systems in the US, such as Kaiser Permanente.
The ACOs, bring together a number of organisations to take responsibility for the cost and quality of care for a defined population within an agreed budget. These could be fully integrated organisations or networks or even more loose alliances than this as seen in Morecambe Bay and in Greater Manchester.
Relevant to the NHS why?
It is one fundamental way of overcoming fragmented responsibility with one of the critical success factors being the building of strong and cohesive relationships, from leaders through to clinicians – especially clinicians.
There also needs to be a greater level of investment in technologies so that the NHS has access to tools which ultimately will create opportunities to reduce hospital admissions and costs.
I suspect that the emerging ACO’s are absolutely the right future for the NHS – fingers crossed the policy makers have enough patience to allow stakeholders who are driving the planning processes to deliver good things for patients…
Sarah Lovell, Partner