Friday 5 December 2008

the benefits of networking

NHS Yorks and Humber enjoys an opportunity for a group of like-minded people to share stories and learn new skills, through their Benefits Network which this week was hosted in the NHS Information Centre.
People all over the country want to know more, and take part. Inevitably Y&H simply don't have the budget, and can't stand the uncertainty. So why aren't there more Benefits Networks? Is it a Yorkshire thing to want value for money, so to go out looking for it?
Actually everyone has to look for value. Every SHA and PCT in England has had to take notice of Lord Darzi's 'Next Stage Review' and the final publication, 'High Quality Care for All - Measuring for Quality Improvement'. This demands that commissioners seek quality outcomes, and that providers deliver in a meaningful way, not just activity but real quality outcomes - benefits by another name. This will be reinforced by money - HRG4.0 tariffs will include a component for quality of outcome.
One of the discussions was on the small matter of the growth money reducing in 2011. From right now onwards, we need to decide our priorities, in terms of benefits, and focus on delivering them.
This means developing frameworks for understanding benefits, planning for the benefits from individual initiatives, projects and services or better yet, planning the projects, initiatives and work packages to deliver the benefits desired, and then realising the benefits either (in the short term) through proxy measures, or real and tangible benefits.
Acute service providers are being warned to expect reductions in income of up to 25%. Those hundreds of millions of ££ will be available to invest in community services (which could be provided by acute trust staff and teams with appropriate training), but they must be invested wisely!

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