While partnership working is not new it is often based upon a familiar customer and supplier relationship, rarely optimising the full benefits of having a private sector partner. However, a new form of partnering is emerging within the health sector.
The NHS experiences continual change and has many challenges to address, including rising demand and heightened expectations at a time when resources are constrained. To be able to rise to these challenges and deliver improvements to services, innovation and new solutions are required. In today’s world of complexity and rapid pace no one party will have all the skills, technology and resource to effect change; it requires multi-party effort and focus. This is especially true in health where there is a constant challenge for efficiency against a backdrop of rising costs, changing disease patterns, and increasing use of sophisticated technology.
Both Sussex Community NHS Trust and Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust have set up strategic partnership agreements with Capita to work alongside them over a number of years to accelerate the pace of change. We’re able to bring commercial acumen, ideas and innovation to these partnerships, to complement trusts’ clinical experience and expertise. And our business transformation and customer management experience means we can help identify efficiencies and better ways of working. We project manage the changes and, for some services, take on the managerial responsibility for delivering efficiencies with guarantees over timing and quantum. Staff working within such a partnership have access to a wide range of skills from within Capita and can therefore offer support to other NHS organisations.
All partnerships have one thing in common: they have come about because both partners believe they have something to gain from the partnership agreement. But the core purpose at the heart of the partnership is to support the NHS and help to deliver improvements in quality, efficiency and patient experience.
Some other partnerships are founded purely on cost reduction, which is not the case for Capita. The two partnerships mentioned here are based on growth, people development and injecting robustness into the trust for future sustainability of NHS functions. There are many different forms and subsequent transformational programmes a private partnership can take – however the key to success is partnering with a company who works alongside you to clearly set out objectives, determining what is in scope and defining the 5 and 10 year strategy. This benefits the wider health economy and creates a greater resilience within the local team itself.
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