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SEPT SEMINAR SPEAKER’S BLOG: Oldham’s Social Prescribing Innovation Partnership

Date: 05.08.19 |Categories: Featured, Uncategorised

In March 2019 Oldham Council marked the world’s first Social Prescribing Day by commissioning a pioneering, three-year Innovation Partnership on behalf of Oldham Cares (our integrated care organisation) to a local consortium of voluntary and community organisations to build upon the Social Prescribing network.

This Innovation Partnership – a contracting approach available to commissioners since 2015, enabling the development and subsequent purchase of a new, innovative product, service or works without the need for a separate procurement procedure for the purchase – is thought to be one of the first for the public sector in England.

This new partnership will work alongside Oldham Cares Alliance partners and the Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) sector to further co-design, establish and deliver Oldham’s social prescribing model. It will be led by Action Together, with Age UK, Positive Steps, Mind and Altogether Better.

Knowing that isolation and loneliness is on the increase, with nearly 10 per cent of Oldham’s residents self-identifying as lonely, the Council has made a real commitment to tackling this through this a community-led approach.

What’s fundamentally different about commissioning through an Innovation Partnership model is that it gives the local consortium the flexibility to work and co-produce with partners and residents. Together they can design and iterate a service that meets local needs, rather than a service being designed and ‘fixed’ at the outset. Understanding that the health and care needs of our population are changing day to day, modern commissioning needs the agility and flexibility to respond and not be held to a rigid specification that is quickly outdated and doesn’t deliver the benefits we need. This model provides that.

To find out more from Oldham Council’s Strategy, Partnerships and Policy Manager, Vicky Sugars, come to our September seminar, Public Benefit Partnerships: commissioning for innovation, social value and impact