As many of you will know we have been working to confirm the scope and shape of the partnership as we move into the next financial year. With many of our partner organisations experiencing fresh financial constraints in the coming year, this has inevitably led to a reduction in the Bristol Health Partners budget for the financial year 2017-18.
Despite enthusiasm for the partnership and the work of our Health Integration Teams (HITs), as part of this discussion, some partners have confirmed that they are no longer able to make a financial contribution to the partnership.
This applies to local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), who in the past have made a joint payment equating to two thirds of a single membership, and to the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP).
We value the continued involvement of our local commissioners and mental health colleagues, especially within the HITs, and will be working with them to clarify what this involvement looks like in practice.
The remaining full members, University Hospitals Bristol, North Bristol Trust, Bristol City Council, University of Bristol and University of the West of England, are reducing their overall contribution by 10 per cent.
This inevitably results in a reduction in the overall Bristol Health Partners budget, which means we are reviewing our spending in all areas, including the core team.
Sadly this means we aren’t able to renew the contract of our Patient and Public Involvement Facilitator, Mike Bell, who has supported the HITs with his very valuable expertise. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mike for his hard work and major contribution to the partnership. The HITs have benefited from his enthusiasm and passion, and several projects, such as the Young Persons Advisory Group, simply wouldn’t have happened without him. How we can build on his valuable contribution is being discussed by the core team, the Executive Group and people in Health West of England.
This situation, though far from ideal, is, however, an opportunity to renew our focus on the HITs. We must ensure that the funding they receive is focused where it’s most needed. We are also accelerating certain HIT workstreams that fit with and support the local Sustainability Transformation Plan (STP). We look forward to sharing these with you soon.
If you work closely with Bristol Health Partners, for example if you’re involved in a Health Integration Team, then I’d like to thank you for your patience during this period of upheaval and uncertainty. We will update you as our plans develop, and look forward to seeing many of you at the HIT Conference in June.I’m sure we will see Bristol Health Partners emerge, leaner but stronger and with renewed vigour, as a result of this time of change.