Bulletin no. 9 1 April 2014

Ways to Wellness – a new approach to long term conditions in Newcastle

Welcome to the ninth Bulletin for the Ways to Wellness Project. The Bulletin assumes that readers are already familiar with the Ways to Wellness Project, so if you are not already aware of our work then please refer to the FAQs and the first eight Bulletins, which tell the story so far.

Recent Highlights

Chief Executive Recruitment Starts – we are keen to recruit a Chief Executive to lead Ways to Wellness and recruitment starts today! The recruitment is being handled by Nigel Wright and further information can be found at http://www.nigelwright.com/WaystoWellness/

Non-Executive Directors Recruited –Five new Non-Executive Directors have been recruited this week to Ways to Wellness Ltd, joining the two founding directors Chris Drinkwater (Chair,) who wears many health related hats locally and nationally and Jane Hartley, VONNE Chairperson, with a VCSE background in health and wellbeing. The new directors are Kieran Conaty, cross sector experience including business development and patient and public involvement; Paul Ennals, experienced charity CEO & NED, public health adviser; Anne Moyle, finance professional with wide range of board level experience; Kate Roe, Executive level experience in local government and communications experience in NHS and VCS; Andrew Walton, Clinician and founder of a successful innovative MSK business; and Nicola Weaver, Newcastle West GP with experience in LTC management , teaching and research. We had a very strong field of 22 applications, it was fabulous to have such a great choice, but made it very hard to narrow it down to the final 5.

Engaging with Social Investors – we have had some encouraging conversations with potential investors including with Bridges Ventures, who are very supportive of the model, and subject to further diligence work are interested in investing in Ways to Wellness.

Procurement for Potential-Providers – we issued a draft procurement prospectus in February and also held a consultation event for potential providers on 6 March. There has been a lot of interest in the opportunity, and some useful feedback on the draft procurement prospectus, which we are building into the final version. The procurement starts in earnest later this week and is being managed by Rocket Science. To register your interest visit http://www.vonne.org.uk/policy/waystowellness/ways_to_wellness_procurement.php?flink=910

On-going development work since 28 January

Ways to Wellness Value Case – is being produced by Social Finance on our behalf and will give us the information we need to further demonstrate the potential cost savings of the service, not just to the CCG but to wider society. This will helps us with discussions on contract metrics and will also help to demonstrate wider benefits and to support the Stage 2 application to Commissioning Better Outcomes and the Social Outcomes Fund which we are about to start work on.

Establish Evaluation Sub-Group – although a lot of our focus to date has been on measuring the project’s effectiveness from a contract metrics and also performance management point of view, we are very aware of the importance of setting up longer term evaluation that tracks patients and the project over time. We now have a dedicated sub-group to look at this and have applied for funding to deliver this.

Patient/User Reference Group – we have been looking into options for setting up a truly engaged Patient/User Reference Group for Ways to Wellness. This has included some useful and interesting initial discussions with the Public Engagement and Community Involvement leads at Newcastle West CCG.

Philippa Dodds joins Steering Group as an observer – Philippa is the Commissioning Project Lead at Newcastle West CCG. Having her attend the Steering Group meetings, and having her as our day to day contact, is incredibly helpful and she will also be working jointly with us on the Stage 2 application to the Commissioning Better Outcomes and the Social Outcomes Fund which we will start work on in early April.

Options Paper for Information Resource – once operational, the Ways to Wellness link workers will need an information resource of activities/information sources that will support patients to better manage their Long Term Conditions. Work has taken place to look at the various options for holding and managing this information.

Developing links locally – this included meeting up with Len Fenwick, Chair of Newcastle Hospitals Trust, Chi Onwurah MP, and Eugene Milne, newly appointed Director of Public Health for Newcastle.

Recent Challenges

Defining the contract metrics - I think it safe to say that this area of work will have a regular slot in this section of the Bulletin! We continue to work with the CCG, NEQOS and Social Finance to try to sort this out and have a further meeting early in April. We have also had useful conversations with contacts in the Cabinet Office. As Social Investors come on board their needs also need to be accommodated. The complexities are too great to do it justice in a short bulletin, but suffice to say it continues to be the contract metric linked to secondary care that is the hardest to crack. We now have a baseline of patient NHS usage for the past 3 years. We are looking now at how to weight the 3 contract metrics.

Managing Expectations – the level of interest in this work continues to rise and managing expectations on local and national levels is a challenge. I receive many requests for individual meetings and it is just not possible to meet everyone who is interested, but we continue to try to be open about both progress and challenges and hope we give a flavour of our work through these bulletins and through sharing key stages of our work on our web pages.

Sandra King – Project Director, on behalf of the Ways to Wellness Ltd Steering Group.

If you would like the bulletin in another format, please contact us.