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Provider collaboration reviews

  • Public

Our provider collaboration reviews (PCRs) look at how health and social care providers are working together in local areas. They aim to help providers learn from each other's experience of responding to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Our ambition is to look at provider collaboration across all Integrated Care Systems (ICS) or Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STP).

Why we're carrying out these reviews

We aim to share learning between providers to support them:

  • to work together effectively and improve people's experiences and outcomes
  • as they re-establish regular services
  • to help drive improvement ahead of any future pressures (winter 2020/21 or COVID spikes)

What we're doing

The PCRs will be carried out across five phases. For each review we will:

  • look at the data we hold together with information held by local inspection teams
  • hold conversations, focus groups and workshops between inspection teams and providers. We'll use key lines of enquiry to structure these sessions.
  • seek views from people who use services, using the Healthwatch network.

Participation in the reviews is not mandatory. The findings of the reviews will not affect individual providers’ ratings.

How we will report

Review teams will give feedback to each area. We will report themes arising from each review phase in our COVID-19 Insight report. We will publish full findings and case studies in a national report for each phase

Review phases

The PCRs will cover the following topics in five phases:

  1. Care for older people
  2. Urgent and emergency care
  3. Cancer care services and pathways
  4. Services for people who live with a learning disability in the community
  5. Services for people with a mental health condition

Phases 2-5 will include a deep dive on inequalities with a focus on different ethnic groups.

Phase one: Care for older people

The first phase looked to understand how care providers have collaborated to improve care for older people, who are most at risk of COVID-19.

Areas we reviewed

  • Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes ICS
  • Devon STP
  • Frimley Health and Care ICS
  • Lancashire and South Cumbria ICS
  • Lincolnshire STP
  • Norfolk and Waveney STP
  • North East and North Cumbria ICS
  • North West London STP
  • One Gloucestershire ICS
  • Sussex Health and Care Partnership ICS
  • The Black Country and West Birmingham STP

What we found

We published our findings in this year’s State of Care report. We found that:

  • Understanding local population needs, including cultural differences, was especially important.
  • The quality of existing relationships between local providers played a major role in the coordination and delivery of joined-up health and social care services that meet the needs of the local population.
  • There was an increased focus on shared planning and system wide governance, but pre-existing plans may not have been fit for purpose to cope with COVID-19.
  • Staff across health and social care worked above and beyond their roles – we spoke to dedicated, passionate staff, committed to supporting everyone including people aged 65 and over.
  • There was a range of initiatives to ensure the safety and wellbeing of staff working both on the front line and in support services.
  • The move to digital working accelerated and impacted on access to services, and more generally digital solutions supported data-sharing and communication between health and social care partners and within health and social care organisations.

You can also read a summary of findings in the September COVID-19 Insight report.

Phase two: Urgent and emergency care

The second phase looked at urgent and emergency care in 8 areas of England in October 2020.

We wanted to know whether people were getting the right care at the right time and in the right place, and how collaboration across local areas had made a difference.

For each review we spoke to a range of providers, including:

  • NHS 111
  • Primary care
  • Out of hours
  • Urgent treatment centres
  • Accident & Emergency
  • Ambulance services
  • Care homes
  • Domiciliary care agencies.

We also worked with Experts by Experience and local Healthwatch to hear the views of people who use services.

Areas we reviewed

  • Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership
  • Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
  • Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
  • Northamptonshire Health and Care Partnership
  • Herefordshire and Worcestershire
  • East London Health and Care Partnership
  • Suffolk and North East Essex
  • West Yorkshire and Harrogate

The three final phases will focus on: 

  • cancer care pathways 
  • services for people with a learning disability 
  • people with a mental health condition.
Last updated:
01 April 2021