This is the third of our regular monthly update briefings about this project, set up to work in partnership to deliver a new commissioning model for open access sexual health services across much of the capital, including Genito-Urinary Medicine (GUM) (services for the screening and treatment of Sexually Transmitted infections (STIs) and Sexual and Reproductive Health Services (SRH) (community contraceptive services).
More details about the history of the project, and previous editions of this briefing, are available on the West London Alliance website www.wla.london
The Case for Change
With the continued squeeze on public sector finances, and specifically public health budgets, the case for change remains high up the agenda. The aim of the transformation project is to design, agree and procure a system that will deliver measurably improved and cost effective public health outcomes, meet increasing demand and deliver better value.
There are five main drivers behind the change programme:
- The need for sexual health services in London is significantly higher than the England average, and has risen significantly in recent years.
- There are noticeable variations in access and activity across London boroughs, with high numbers of residents from across London accessing services in central London.
- Given London’s complex pattern of open access services, there are important advantages for London boroughs to transform and commission services together
- We must continue to ensure strong clinical governance, safeguarding and quality assurance arrangements are in place for commissioning open access services
- We want to respond to current and future financial challenges, and ensure we are making the best use of resources available
More Councils Join the Transformation Project
There are two distinct strands to the work of the LSHTP:
The first relates to the development of new pan-London services including an online single point of access for home based testing and a new partner notification service, which will be procured once for the councils participating in the programme.
The second strand covers the reconfiguration of core GUM and SRH services, which is now underway at a sub-regional level.
A number of additional Local Authorities have joined the programme over the last two months, bringing the total up to 29 London councils. These new councils have joined in order to explore the new pan-London service opportunities and not with the intention at this time to reconfigure their own core clinical services on a sub-regional basis (though some may have local pieces of work underway). Stakeholders that are unclear as to the terms on which their Local Authority has joined should seek clarity from their commissioner.
The full list of boroughs involved in the collaborative is now:
Barnet, Bexley, Brent, Bromley, Camden, City of London, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Havering, Hounslow, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Kingston, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Newham, Redbridge, Richmond, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth, Westminster.
19. Northwick Park Hospital
The Business Case has been concluded and cabinet papers are being presented at Council Cabinet meetings. Two councils have now agreed the paper and delegated authority to progress procurements. Others are discussing the paper over the next 6 – 8 weeks.
Another productive workshop was held with clinicians and others on the 17th November. As well as a Q&A session the meeting discussed the partner notification system and how we might best deliver a world class service. There was also some discussion about the service specification, which is being developed at present with help from Public Health England. In addition we continue to have regular discussions with the Faculty and representatives from BASHH.
We have now held four focus group discussions with service users from BME communities and gay men. These were very helpful meetings, with robust and challenging discussion focussing on the elements of the service most valued by those who use them. Integration was supported as was the need for a wide marketing and communications campaign. There was a very positive view of the work of third sector organisations and a desire for more nurse led services.
Further engagement work will take place over the next few months and a simple online questionnaire is now available for distribution by participating local authorities.
As mentioned above, the West London Alliance website is now being used to host all materials and further information about the Programme. Please have a look at the site and let us know what you think www.wla.london then choose “London Sexual Health Transformation” from the current projects list, or click here.
Discussions continue about the use of the integrated tariff. This will be a main item for debate at the Programme Board on December 17th
The business case and papers seeking cabinet decisions from boroughs will have been to all cabinet meetings by February 2016. This will allow us to start the formal procurement process in February with a Prior Information Notice (PIN) being issued. The plan is to award the contract by the end of the year and start the new service in April 2017.
For further details on the project please contact
Dr Andrew Howe, Programme Director, 07535 624828, Andrew.Howe@harrow.gov.uk
Mary Cleary, Project Lead, 07948 506 584, email@example.com
Mark Wall, Communications Lead, 0790 999 3278 firstname.lastname@example.org