Case Studies

Developing a vital business plan for a new NHS organisation

Added 11/11/2011


Sustain was commissioned to support a provider arm as it separated from its host primary care trust (PCT). As part of this process, the provider needed to identify options for its future organisational form while also developing an integrated business plan to drive its strategic direction. 
Key challenges
As the provider was still a developing organisation in its infancy, a significant number of the systems and process required to successfully plan for the future were either under developed or absent. In addition, it had only just started building its commercial capability, which meant that little work had been done to map the competitor landscape or investigate ways of transforming service delivery.
It also became clear that non-executive directors who had been newly appointed to the organisation’s shadow board would need support to increase their understanding of the way its services were configured and delivered. The organisation’s executive directors also needed guidance to appreciate the range of elements required to deliver a robust integrated business plan.
Main actions
Sustain worked quickly to set up a team with the appropriate financial expertise to successfully drive the project. A robust plan and workstream structure was then established and a draft output document completed within the first three months.
We worked closely with all of the workstream leads to increase their understanding of their roles and responsibilities, timelines for delivery and the process for assurance. In addition, our day-to-day management of the project as a whole saw us coordinate the key deliverables of each workstream.
Regular feedback sessions took place throughout the lifespan of the project to keep non-executive directors and senior managers informed, while additional update sessions were organised for key representatives from the primary care trust.
Outcomes and achievements
Sustain’s consistent focus on delivery helped ensure the integrated business plan was presented to the shadow board and the primary care trust on time. With the PCT’s support, it was then submitted to the strategic health authority (SHA) for approval.
The SHA’s feedback was excellent. As well as commending the provider for the quality of the plan, it also added its support to the organisation’s bid to move towards community foundation trust status.

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