Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust have agreed to form a Strategic Alliance which will see the organisations collaborating more closely to secure sustainable, high-quality patient care for local populations into the future. The Trusts have set out this agreement by signing a Memorandum of Understanding.
This aligns to the recent Government white paper which heralds a new, collaborative approach to delivering healthcare amongst providers.
Instead of working independently this approach will enable the organisations to find new ways to connect, communicate and collaborate so that the health and care needs of local people are met.
TSDFT, RD&E and NDHT have been working together informally for some time as part of the SEND (Southern, Eastern, Northern Devon) acute network and have strengthened their collaboration over the past 12 months as the organisations have worked together to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and recover elective care.
The organisations want to build on this experience and ensure they are joined up in responding to some of the significant programmes of work underway, including joined up digital strategies, the development of the Integrated Care System across Devon which will bring health and care providers together, and how the investment in infrastructure at both TSDFT and NDHT as part of the Government’s Health Infrastructure Plan would best be used.
Liz Davenport, chief executive of TSDFT and Suzanne Tracey, chief executive of NDHT and RD&E, said: “We are delighted to be entering into this Strategic Alliance, working together to develop shared and aligned strategies to achieve our vision across SEND.
“The Strategic Alliance will see us collaborating on all strategic and transformation opportunities and all opportunities for incoming investment. We will be considering our resources, workforces, and challenges together and making decisions in the best interests of the whole population.
“We are initially focussing on the delivery of high quality, sustainable acute care for our populations.”
The Trusts are already successfully collaborating. For example, we have worked together across our acute medicine, obs & gynae and urology services to ensure access to high quality care for our patients through sharing our resources.
This collaboration has supported our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have worked collectively to staff the Nightingale Hospital and have supported each other through offering our beds to one another to ensure the best possible care for our patients.
We are currently working on a SEND approach to pathology which will strengthen our services across the network in the interests of patient care.
As the alliance develops, the organisations have pledged to provide regular updates on how the partnership is making a difference to patient care.