STAR Procurement & Rochdale Council Adult Social Care

STAR Procurement & Rochdale Council Adult Social Care

A Collaborative Adult Care Commissioning Plan

Briefly describe the initiative/ project/service; please include your aims and objectives

The main focus of the project was to bring procurement and adult care commissioning together with a common strategy and work plan that was compliant, forward looking, challenging and deliverable. This meant working in a concentrated and focused way and collaborating together to deliver a transformational plan and strategy that had full buy in from all parties.

The objectives from a procurement perspective were:
– Identify opportunities for the local and SME sector organisations
– Procurement efficiencies
– Identify collaborative opportunities
– Consider more innovative and flexible routes to market
– Compliance with PCR 2015 and Council Constitution
– Opportunities for market engagement and training local suppliers and SME’s
– Focus into the requirements for Social Value for each procurement opportunity to ensure we maximise relevant and deliverable outcomes

Objectives from a commissioner perspective were:
– Identify opportunities to transform services
– Make service efficiencies
– Culture change
– Better working relationships
– Better outcomes and deliverables
– Establish new ways of working

The project Action Plan was produced in collaboration between STAR Procurement and Adult Commissioning Team. This covered key areas such as Governance, Exemptions, Procurement Initiation Documents (PIDS), Integrated Commissioning Board and Commissioning Plans. In order to deliver the Action Plan, Task & Finish groups were established with clear roles and remits. Commissioning Leads, a Project Team and Subcategory Groups were created in line with Procurement Category Strategies to tackle commissioning intentions and governance in small achievable pieces. Support was brought in from other subject matter experts to ensure the plans and strategy were compliant and deliverable, for example training was delivered from Legal leads to Officers in Procurement and Commissioning so there could be a collective understanding of the Governance requirements under the Constitution across the services. During the project the COVID-19 Pandemic hit, impacting on resources and availability. However, even though there were other urgent and conflicting requirements on both teams, the project was followed through to completion and within timescales. This shows the dedication and desire for change across the teams.

What are the key achievements?

The key achievement is that there is now a strategy and work plan in place that is compliant, forward looking, challenging, transformational and deliverable.
In developing this other achievements included:

– The forward plan is in and working and linked to the category strategy
– Improved and efficient governance processes; governance process followed in a timely manner so no delays
– Reduced off contract spend and requirements for exemptions
– Time included for strategic review of each opportunity to ensure time and resource built into transformational opportunities
– Planning and work planning has been developed and successful in the last 12 months
– Collaboration opportunities have increased by 150% on the previous year with STAR working across it’s 4 Local Authority areas to collaboratively benchmark, understanding work plans, share technical learning and deliver savings through collaboration opportunities
– Commissioning intentions are produced and reviewed and approved by the Integrated Commissioning Board on an annual basis
– Market engagement planned in to better equip the local and SME market when bidding for Adult Social Care Tenders
– Social Value identified and linked to the priorities of the council prior to procurement
– The forward plan has enabled an improved approach to the budget and savings planning procedure, savings can be identified and categorised much earlier
– Efficiencies across the services as teams working more cohesively
– Improved communication
– Assurance around roles and responsibilities, nothing duplicated nor missed

The main achievement comes from the culture change. There is now a cohesive team approach with clear roles and responsibilities, mutual appreciation for workloads and pressures due to the time spent working together towards a common goal. This benefit is now being replicated across teams within the council. This culture change has come at the perfect time to help support the COVID response. It also provides a solid foundation for the work that is now underway to deliver more transformational and collaborative adult care procurement activity across STAR Partners and Greater Manchester.

What are the key learning points?

– Consistency and engagement is key; the Sub Category groups have met consistently on fortnightly basis’s to install a culture in each organisation to challenge for the best outcome possible in difficult times during a pandemic.
– Agreeing the objectives and outcomes for both procurement and commissioning from the outset, and setting in place an action plan to deliver all these
– Targets and deadlines set to ensure accountability and pace
– Using the work done as a platform for further transformational and collaboration activity
– Sharing our lessons learnt and rolling the approach out to other Partners and other categories/commissioners
– The Head of Strategic Procurement and Assistant Director for Commissioning (Prevention and Adult Social Care) rolled their sleeves up and got stuck into the project setting the direction and tempo for the project and seeing it through to the end. Having this buy in helped the project to deliver during very difficult circumstances.
– Commitment and leadership from senior leads kept project on track and focus on deliverables.

Tracey Harrison, Assistant Director for Commissioning at Rochdale Council, has reflected that, “STAR Procurement and Adult Care Commissioning have worked in partnership to improve our processes and procedures ensuring greater transparency and effective use of resources. A key achievement has been the culture of teams working together and improved technical knowledge across organisations for public benefit and improved outcomes for residents. It’s been a pleasure to be part of this work”.

James Hunter, Head of Strategic Procurement at STAR Procurement, has taken the following learning from the project, “Over the last 12 months, officers in Adult Social Care Commissioning and STAR Procurement have worked incredibly well to ensure that Governance Processes and constitutions have been developed and implemented into day to day practice of the commissioning cycle. The creation of frequent Subcategory meetings, collaboration with Local Authorities across the GM and North Manchester geographical footprint and innovative supplier engagement has enabled Commissioning intentions to be delivered to timescales in the middle of a pandemic, with a reduction in the use of exemptions and off contract spend during this period of time. Moving into 2021 we intend to ensure Integrated Team Meetings between commissioning and procurement are planned to ensure continued shared learning and consistency between both teams and continue to develop quality assurance processes to continue the high performance of both teams”.

Additional Comments

Moving into 2021 the intention is to now work across Rochdale’s Geographical Commissioning Footprint and Strategy to collaborate with further Local Authorities. Integrated Team Meetings between commissioning and procurement are planned to ensure shared learning and consistency between both teams. The activity has now been mainstreamed and embedded as ‘Business as Usual’ but there are also plans to further develop this through on-line contract management systems.

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