Calderdale and Huddersfield and East Lancashire Trusts in a group model
Two of UHS’ directors were respectively Chief Executive and Director of Finance at Calderdale and Huddersfield, a highly successful Trust whilst neighbouring East Lancashire was, at that time, under significant pressure on quality and finance. In conjunction with Regional colleagues it was agreed to manage both Trusts together, temporarily, under a shared leadership to enable quality and financial improvement.
As the first such arrangement in the country, there was a great deal of innovation and interest. The UHS directors ensured that the benefits realisation concerned not only this new model itself, but the improvement of quality and value for both organisations. Whilst there was high level innovation and benefit there was significant governance security built into the process. In particular, “taking the people with us” was a significant part of the work.
The benefits included stabilisation of East Lancashire NHS Trust, service quality improvement, progress with staff morale and engagement as well as improved finances. Both organisations benefitted from the cross fertilisation.
The work identified an inventive approach to organisational governance and intractable problems which has been repeated across the NHS and has become one of the repertoire of organisational solutions to clinical and financial viability challenges.