We will shortly publish our delivery plan, which describes how we will go about reaching the goals we have set out in this plan. However, in the context of ongoing cuts to public spending, and significant changes to public service policy by central government, we already know we will have to work very differently if we are to make progress. We are therefore setting out five principles that describe our approach, and how we will work.
Prevention and early action
Our ambition as a partnership is to tackle the causes of problems, not react to the symptoms. By focusing on prevention and early action we can find better, more cost effective solutions. As a partnership, we know that this approach has the potential to significantly reduce demand across the public sector, benefitting us all. The Lambeth and Southwark Early Action Commission clearly set out the benefits of this approach, and how we could go about it. Our new Health and Wellbeing Strategy identifies early action as one of its four priorities.
There are a number of areas where we will be focusing on developing our approach to prevention and early action, and building our evidence base. This includes the ground breaking LEAP project; a 10 year partnership of local and national organisations working together with families in several of Lambeth’s more deprived wards to transform children’s start in life. We are already rolling out aspects of this project, such as the Family Nurse Partnership, across the whole borough.
Another is our work to change the way we support older people. Here we are redesigning the way public services work together in Local Care Networks, building partnerships with families and voluntary and community groups to support more people to keep well in their communities, reducing demand on hospitals.
Finally, in Lambeth a significant number of people have poor mental health. Through the Living Well Collaborative we have pioneered an approach that has moved support from the managing crises, to enabling and supporting people to live well in their communities. Over the next five years we want to see this approach extended across the borough, reaching more people and transforming the mental healthcare system.
These three programmes describe the focus of our early action and prevention work, but this approach will require the involvement of a far greater range of services, organisations and people. Over the next five years we will need to look at how we invest and improve our neighbourhoods so they can play a part in keeping people well and connecting people together, how we strengthen and collaborate with our voluntary and community sector, and how we use evidence and data to build our understanding of where prevention and early action is most effective, and where we can anticipate problems.
Lambeth has a history of strong partnerships between public, private and third sector organisations in the borough. By working together we have achieved much, including better services, innovation, and investment. For example, our partnership with Lambeth College has resulted in ‘Lambeth Apprenticeship Ambitions’, a joint programme of collaborative working with all Lambeth employers, post-16 providers, and schools to promote apprenticeships. Other partnerships have led to more 20
affordable housing in Streatham, new leisure and health facilities in West Norwood, and improvements to parks and open spaces.
We believe that partnership is more important than ever. For the public sector, reducing public sector spending combined with increasing demand will require us to work more closely together to find more effective and cost efficient ways of providing services. We are also aware that many of the things that matter most to our residents, and that will make the biggest difference to their lives, are not within the gift of any one organisation, and that existing separations between different public services often don’t make sense for those using them.
Over the next five years, we will need to strengthen our partnerships within the borough to lead the work needed to achieve the goals set out in this plan, and to bring about reforms to the ways we work. But we will also need stronger partnerships with neighbouring boroughs, such as through Central London Forward, to help develop London’s approach to devolution so that it benefits Lambeth’s residents and to continue to use our collective influence to shape markets and design new services. In key areas, such as health and social care, groups of councils, CCGs and health providers are increasingly working together in groups to integrate services and improve outcomes for residents.
Our approach will be to focus our partnership working on achieving the goals set out in this plan. Where we establish partnership bodies or boards, we will ensure they are transparent and accountable to residents and other partners. We will be clear about the roles and responsibilities of partners, and how residents can work with us.
Some of the challenges we will face over the next few years will require us to move beyond partnership, towards integration between different organisations and agencies. Integration is about joining up services so that they are more responsive to what matters to service users, and better meets their needs through more holistic and co-ordinated care and support. Integration also allows early intervention and prevention, and also has the potential to save money.
Lambeth has been exploring close multi-agency working and integration for some time, including as part of our successful Aspirational Families programme and shared working across the NHS and social care. Learning from our work thus far has informed our subsequent integration activity.
Integration is now a main driver of change in health and social care and we already have a range of programmes underway covering services from birth through to older adults and across both physical and mental health. The Council, the local NHS and other partners are progressing shared strategic planning and care models, including Local Care Networks designed to support care closer to home and to help individuals to be as healthy and independent as they can be.
There is a move to greater integration in other areas, beyond health and care. As part of our Whole Place Community Budget Initiative with Lewisham and Southwark, we have been delivering the Pathways to Employment pilots, as part of which we have joined up employment and welfare services, to co-ordinate initiatives and to streamline and improve the customer journey through these services.
We think that integration has a range of potential benefits, including delivering better outcomes for residents, and savings for us and for partners. Going forward we want to explore more opportunities for integration, both at borough, sub-regional and London level.
In 2010 we became a Cooperative Council, and later as a partnership, committed to being a cooperative borough. We became a Cooperative Council because we wanted to continue to improve as an organisation, and believed that working more closely with our communities would enable us to improve services and decision-making. This continues to be true: for us, being cooperative is about how we work with our residents, businesses and other partners, involving people in the decisions that affect them and supporting them in improving their communities.
We have achieved a lot since 2010. We have supported communities who want to take action in their area, we have involved people in designing and commissioning the services that they use, and we have worked with local people who are willing to share their time and skills with others who can benefit from them. Some of our flagship projects, from the Lambeth Living Well Collaborative to the Young Lambeth Coop, are recognised nationally for their innovation and impact. More significantly, we have changed the culture and outlook of the Council. We are more outward looking, collaborative, and focused on the skills and strengths of our communities, not just need.
Over the next five years we will continue this work, making sure that as a partnership we are open, transparent, and accessible – and empowering. We will actively involve residents in decision-making, and work together with voluntary and community organisations, residents and businesses to develop shared solutions to the challenges facing our borough. Our communities help make the borough what it is and we want to strengthen and build on this in the way we work both as an organisations, and as individuals.
We are setting out a plan that will guide our work through a period of significant transformation. The public service reform principles set out here will require us to change the way our organisations work, and crucially, our workforce.
We are moving to an era of data driven, digital public services. Collaboration across public, private and third sector organisations will become increasingly common. New forms of democratic accountability will be required as new partnerships are formed and by 2020 local government will have to move to a new funding model.
This will require a different set of skills in our workforce, and organisations that can support, develop and enable them effectively. We know that without the right workforce and culture we will fail to achieve the goals set out here.
We know the value of our workforce, and over the next five years, our approach will be to recruit, train, develop and enable a workforce that can deliver excellence. As a council, we will shortly publish our plan for how our organisation will change over the next five years, and how we will support our workforce to change with it.