STRUCTURE: South Essex Partnership University Foundation Trust has formed a limited company with four other NHS trusts, Essex County Council and a university.

The company, Anglia Ruskin Health Partnership, aims to sustain and enhance the quality of health and social care by collaborating in service delivery through innovation, research and education.

It comprises:

Basildon & Thurrock University Hospitals Foundation Trust
Mid Essex Hospital Services Trust
The Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust
Southend University Hospital Foundation Trust
South Essex Partnership University Foundation Trust
Essex County Council
Anglia Ruskin University

The partnership serves a population of over two million people and manages an annual budget in excess of £2bn.

The partnership plans to deliver huge benefits for clinical and support services in Essex, in anticipation of the significant changes in health and social care delivery that the government’s funding and restructuring plans will prompt over the next five years.

The strategic body of chief executives and chairs of each of the founding organisations hope to develop solutions for the population of Essex but also provide solutions that will have a global market.

It will try to:
*Identify areas which would benefit from collaborative working and, if appropriate, commission research or education
*Encourage innovation, by undertaking much of the identified research and education
*Develop innovation and, where feasible, bring rapid solutions to market.

The Partnership office is based at Anglia Ruskin University (Chelmsford Campus). The focus of initial projects is on quality of patient care and patient safety.

The first project aims to produce a standardised electronic patient record which provides daily assurance of the quality of care received by in-patients using an iPad prototype which allows bedside documentation. This will be led by Basildon University Hospital.

As part of this project, the required range of nursing metrics will be defined and agreed eg nutrition, feeding, pressure sores - led by Southend University Hospital.

Looking at the net promoter system, the partnership will look at effective ways of capturing patient feedback using a single agreed package. It will evaluate SEPT’s approach to patient care for adoption across the partnership.

Nurse, midwife and social care team leaders will develop an integrated programme for newly-qualified, talented graduates (but flexible enough to allow entry for others), to produce excellent ward sisters, managers and team leaders across both NHS and social care. This will require defining required clinical, managerial and personal competencies and reviewing existing schemes.

The partnership will also establish an agreed pattern of integrated care and protocols across health and social care for the frail elderly, eg pressure ulcers, dementia, falls, and nutrition - in conjunction with the Essex Community Budget project.

An electronic passport for staff will be created which records mandatory training and other training which avoid further repetitive, time-wasting training every time a member of staff moves employment from one hospital to another.

Potential areas of shared backroom services will be explored, particularly the high-volume transaction services.

The partnership is a private company, to which other organisations may seek to join. Whilst external funding to support the partnership is being sought, each member has committed a £50,000 start-up contribution in the first year. It is expected that the financial benefits gained even in the first year will more than offset the proposed initial investment.

The formation of Anglia Ruskin Health Partnership draws on the success of UCLP (UCL Partners) and also on the collaboration developed with UCLP in the London-Essex HIEC (Health Innovation and Education Cluster).

The Government is currently intending to create 12-14 new clusters to foster implementation and dissemination across health systems. The Anglia Ruskin Health Partnership is designed to meet the required criteria and, given the size and complexity of the Essex population, it is intended to make a strong case for designation.

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