MLCO wins HPMA award for working across systems

Manchester Local Care Organisation has won the Healthcare People Management Association North West ‘We work across systems’ award for its work developing an integrated HR and OD approach in health and social care in Manchester.

MLCO was formed on 1 April 2018 and is a public sector partnership organisation powered by Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Greater Manchester Mental Health, Manchester City Council, Manchester Health & Care Commissioning and the Manchester Primary Care Partnership.

Over 2,700 staff from Manchester’s adult and children's NHS community teams and adult social care teams have now been deployed to MLCO to work as one team. They include nurses, social workers, health visitors, therapists, support staff and many other health and care professionals.

MLCO won the award at the HPMA North West awards ceremony in Runcorn last night (22 November) for its approach to bringing these teams together - developing joint human resources and organisational development approaches to working across the health and social care system.

A key part of the MLCO approach is the development of 12 integrated neighbourhood teams across the city that join up services and bring them close to local people. Rather than a basic lip service approach to supporting these very different teams to work together, MLCO has started from the bottom up. Existing processes and procedures have been stripped back to ask what makes integration work and have then been rebuilt to allow that to happen.

The team have:

  • created a cross system HR and OD team which has shaped the workforce contribution together with operational, partner, voluntary sector and Staff Side colleagues

  • designed new integrated teams and roles have been designed with a focus on place-based leadership across the health and care system – roles have been developed so that can be filled by health and care staff with parity

  • created a leadership programme to develop collaborative leaders in our integrated team. This is aligned with OD work across the system such as the asset-based development programme

  • piloted a new approach to appraisals, taking a more holistic approach, supported and taken up by teams in the MLCO and wider primary care and VCSE partners.

  • developed a single extranet, newsletters and cascades to communicate across people working in the MLCO from different organisations

  • encouraged diversity in recruitment, with a strong focus on social value, using multiple perspectives in recruitment, interview questions covering collaborative system - and staff-shared values.

Jon Lenney, MLCO director of human resources and organisational development, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to receive this award. We’re committed to doing things differently and redesigning how we can best make HR and OD processes work for staff across our services in Manchester. Our team has worked hard to do this in partnership with staff-side, the voluntary sector and staff who are deployed to us. To see their efforts recognised just seven months into our new organisation is fantastic and we hope to be able to share our work with other systems who are bringing together health and social care services.”

HPMA is the professional voice of HR in healthcare. Their aim is to support and develop HR staff to improve the people management contribution in healthcare and ultimately improve patient care, believing that every health and care organisation should excel in the way that they manage their people.

The other shortlisted finalists in the ‘We work across systems’ category were Cheshire & Merseyside Streamlining Programme (East Cheshire NHS Trust & The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust), HR ‘System’ work across Cheshire East Place (East Cheshire NHS Trust) and The Alternative Agency Management System (North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust).