The Situation

In 2007 Salford Health Matters was constituted as a Community Interest Company (CIC) to provide Primary Care Services to the population of Salford, Greater Manchester with a social mission to improve the health outcomes of its 15000 plus specific NHS patients.
The contract taken over to run three GP practices, was awarded at £1.7m annually, decreasing to £1.4 m over 5 years. Previously the Primary Care Trust had run these three practices which were in the worst areas of social deprivation in the borough for £2.1m annually.
A Board of Directors and Executive management team was instituted to run the business, however many challenges faced the organisation:-
1. Board cohesion
2. Executive direction
3. Budget break even
4. Staff morale and engagement
5. Patient Engagement
6. Enhanced Services contract acquisition

The Solution

To manage these challenges and assist the business with its evolution Nigel Gilmore was engaged to provide support, guidance and structural reorganisation to the Executive Management team, being primarily the Chief Executive Officer as well as the overall Board of Directors
Specific Initiatives instituted:-
Creation of “A Learning Organisation”
SHM Board decided, excellent care needs excellent staff. SHM developed a positive staff culture which is professional, yet approachable; caring, but empowering
SHM achieved Investors in People Gold status demonstrating the achievement in this area.
Invested In the Community
SHM are one of very few social enterprises across the country to deliver front line GP services. SHM are committed to reinvesting any surplus in the communities they serve. As an example, they have reinvested £120,000 to offer social prescribing and community physiotherapy.

A Focus “Customer Centric” Front of House
Nigel Gilmore led an initiative to understand “the Voice of the Customer” and adjust services and support to deliver a positive experience in all patient interactions
The Net Promoter system was pioneered in the surgeries and became a model for the Friends and Family test later adopted throughout the NHS

The Results

Improved Quality
SHM started out in 2007 with some of the worst performing practices in Salford. SHM increased Quality and Outcomes Framework (QoF) from 63% to 95% to the point of achieving an ‘Outstanding’ award by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The team at SHM now care passionately about quality health care for all and will continue to improve.
Expanded Services
SHM started out with core general practice services. These services have grown to include social prescribing, community physiotherapy, specialist children’s service, health care for homeless people. Because they are a social enterprise, they continue to invest in more services to help improve the health and well-being of its patients.
Improved Access
SHM championed the introduction of evening and weekend opening hours. A unique ‘call back’ system was implemented which meant that no one was ever turned away from a clinical appointment. Access was further opened up to those who may find it hard: for example, homeless people, young people, people with dementia
Demonstrated Innovation
Through an innovative approach to solving problems and improving what SHM does, massive results have been achieved. For example, the ‘call back’ system has eliminated the ‘full’ appointment book, the children’s project has slashed the hospital bill for children and families who consequentially are happier with the services they receive, social prescribing gives SHM patients the support, beyond the medical care, to improve their lives, the introduction of Advanced Nurse Practitioners, working alongside SHM GPs, has further expanded ther clinical workforce and gives all patients more choice.
Wider Developments
Salford Health Matters is now fully solvent with a strong balance sheet. (in 2008 the company was on the verge of insolvency)
Following the devolution of the full health care budget to the Greater Manchester NHS, A new Salford wide provider organisation has been created Salford Primary Care Together, which will deliver GP and enhanced services across the borough. The Chief Executive of Salford Heath Matters and the larger Executive and clinical team have been employed by the new organisation and SHM will merge to continue the social mission begun on 2007 . Nigel Gilmore is now Chair of the Board of Salford Health Matters and will oversee this development as he did previously with the other initiatives mentioned above

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