Collaborating to provide leadership
Five hospices in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are working together to provide leadership for the development of palliative and end of life care in the area.
Project and outcomes
The independent hospices across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight formed a collaborative in 2021:
- St Michael’s (North Hampshire)
- Naomi house and Jacksplace (hospices for children and young adults).
The collaborative aims to ensure palliative and end of life care works well across the integrated care system (ICS). Key activities include sharing learning, linking hospices together, raising awareness of hospice services and speaking as one voice to help influence commissioning strategies.
In February 2022 the collaborative employed Chrissie Dawson to work one day per week, co-ordinating and supporting the collaborative and progressing plans and ideas. Chrissie worked in the NHS as a senior commissioner before joining Mountbatten as Head of Innovation & Service Development. Her knowledge and experience of health and social care and the development of her continuing role with Mountbatten enabled Chrissie to support the collaborative to progress plans and ideas. The hospices in the collaborative are equal partners and have each invested in this role.
Chrissie works closely with the hospice CEOs and their representatives to:
- explore opportunities to work together efficiently
- co-ordinate and plan services
- represent the collaborative at local and regional meetings (including the ICS’s End of Life Board)
- enhance the profile of hospices, making sure commissioners and decision-makers see the collaborative as an integral partner.
So far the collaborative has been able to work together to improve transition into adult hospice care for children, young adults and their families. They have collaborated on funding applications, one of which was a successful bid to develop a 24/7, single point of contact for hospice care.
They have gathered and shared learning from models of care across the UK and internationally, and identified areas where they can improve services by making efficiencies.
A key outcome has been the ability to engage with the ICS End of Life Board. This includes co-ordinating the hospice response to Board proposals and consultations, and working with the Board to inform the development of palliative and end of life care across the ICS.
Facilitators, challenges and advice
All the hospices are keen to collaborate, and this approach is embedded across all the hospices. Staff at all levels are encouraged to meet and work together.
The collaborative provides a complete spectrum of care and support for the local system. Collectively, the hospices are responsible for £45 million income, as well as nearly 5,000 staff and volunteers. Being able to demonstrate this helps commissioners and decision-makers understand the value of hospice care.
Historically, independent hospices in the area have seen themselves as competitors. It was challenging to move towards a model of collaboration and ‘one voice’. This has been helped by having a memorandum of understanding, taking time to build trust with each other and employing Chrissie in a dedicated role.
It can sometimes be difficult to make sure the needs of different communities are represented. For example, there are 4 adult hospices in the collaborative and 1 children’s and young adults’ hospice. The End of Life Board covers all ages but also tends to prioritise adult care.
Tips and advice
Collaboration and partnership working will always be a work in progress – but consistency is key to success.
Utilise the resources you already have – there may not be any more money in the system, but by pooling resources and flexing workforce you can respond to challenges.
You are in a good position to negotiate with commissioners. Use data to show the value you add to the system and highlight that independent hospices can be more flexible than statutory services.
The collaborative’s future plans include:
- continuing to identify and strengthen potential areas of collaboration
- agreeing key messaging for the collaborative
- finding opportunities for cross-organisational learning and training
- mapping information governance structures and data collection
- working with the ICS Board to support the implementation of new statutory guidance.
Watch Chrissie's presentation
Watch Chrissie Dawson’s presentation about working as a hospice collaborative from our Trustee conference in September 2022.