A guide to live service mobilisation in healthcare
The well-planned efficient mobilisation of services is critical in many sectors, not least healthcare. It covers the period between the award of a new contract to its commencement. Live service mobilisation takes place without a break in the provision of a service. Based on my extensive experience of live service mobilisation, here is my guide.
Mobilisation of a service or services should be undertaken in three distinct phases:
Mobilisation phase – the period from the selection of the awarded bidder(s) until the service commencement date. This is also known as the contract transition period.
Operational phase – the delivery of the service (a.k.a. service delivery).
Exit phase – the exit arrangements on termination of the current contract.
The provider must supply detailed contract transition plans that cover all aspects of its proposed contract transition period. During this period, the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will undertake the following activities:
Appoint a contract lead for all the three phases and, together with the awarded bidder(s) create a mobilisation board with supporting governance structures.
The mobilisation board membership should comprise representatives from the CCG, the Local Authority and the awarded bidder(s).
The mobilisation board’s role is to monitor the progress of both the provider(s) and the relevant members of the local health economy against the integrated transition plan.
The mobilisation board will operate to enable stakeholders to raise local issues arising out of the contract.
Creating an integrated contract transition plan
The CCG should work with the relevant members and the awarded bidder(s) to ensure that all relevant members are incorporated into the provider’s/providers’ contract transition plan to form an overall, integrated plan (the integrated transition plan).
This plan defines the required deliverables, timescales and resources for the contract transition period and helps to ensure that the services are ready to start on the service commencement date. This includes identification and development of critical interfaces to integrate the services into the local health economy.
Creating joint workstream teams
The integrated transition plan is organised by the appropriate workstream. The CCG will work with the relevant members and the provider(s) to form joint workstream teams to deliver the activities identified in the integrated transition plan. The workstream leads report progress to the mobilisation board.
The contract transition plan must cover the key tasks the provider(s) will complete during the contract transition period and clearly highlight key milestones, such as the following:
All conditions precedents are satisfied within the contract.
Phased works and reconfiguration is complete and/or all work and reconfiguration is complete.
Phased logistics are complete and/or all logistics are operational.
All staff are in place to satisfy service commencement and/or all staff are in place as per the workforce plan.
Information management and technology (IM&T) are ready for phased operations and/or full-service commencement.
The communications plan is delivered.
Key tasks and milestones will be assigned to each of the following workstreams:
The provider(s) must ensure that there is sufficient corporate human resource available during the contract transition period. All bidders must provide a detailed plan that clearly identifies the provider’s human resources during the contract transition period, with a supporting narrative.
The appropriate management of risk is a key strategy in avoiding adverse Incidents and achieving continuity of the services. The provider(s) must submit a risk strategy which identifies, as a minimum, ownership of risk, escalation and governance.
The provider(s) must identify both opportunities and risks they believe exist. An assessment of the magnitude of these opportunities and risks and how they plan to manage them effectively, including timeframes and resources, is required.
Agreement of any variation to plans that arise through unforeseen issues during the transition period.
Workstream Leads need to be identified for each organisation commissioning the service, these workstreams include the following:
Project Board Lead
Contract Management Lead
Communications Stakeholder Engagement Lead
Health and Safety and Fire Safety advisor
Senior Administrative Assistant Management
I have no doubt that mobilisation (particularly live mobilisation) of new services for ever more complex models of care will be critical to meeting the demands on the NHS in the coming years.