Wakefield District Wellbeing Consortium

DELIVERING A PAYMENT BY RESULTS CONTRACT

 

Wakefield District Wellbeing Consortium is delivering a Payment by Results (PbR) contract for families with multiple problems joint financed by the DWP and the European Social Fund. The Consortium is a subcontractor to EOS, which is the Prime Contractor across Yorkshire and the Humber. Targeted at families deemed by the local authority as having a range of problems and a history of worklessness in the family, the programme involves a key worker working with individuals and their families over 12 months to help them move towards the workplace.  The ‘payment by results’ aspect means that to trigger the first payment a person has to complete a minimum of three intervention activities, with the second payment triggered by successful employment for at least 13-26 wks.

The Consortium hub’s management fee rests on successful delivery (by its members), so organisations sink or swim together. Alison Haskins (Business Development Manager) says that “this is a key issue for consortium members to bear in mind. You can mitigate risk by sharing it, but there is also the possibility of some members not delivering to standard. This is mitigated in large part by the role of the Consortium hub in quality assuring organisations and closely monitoring contracts”.

Members are having to fund the initial delivery of the programme either from reserves or, for some of the bigger organisations, from cross-subsidy from other contracts. So it helps to have the local Groundwork involved, a £3m turnover organisation that is delivering almost half of the total contract.

Five organisations in total are delivering the contract – four substantially and one delivering a smaller share.

Alison points to a number of factors that make contract management harder for a consortium as compared with a single organisation;

  • A single organisation, which directly employs all staff, will find it easier to shift delivery targets across the organisation than it is to shift work between organisations in a consortium contract.
  • Lack of direct line management, operational decision-making or governance by the hub in member organisations.
  • Differing payscales, benefits etc amongst organisations which can make delivery of a programme using standardised staff roles more complex.

The Wellbeing Consortium has factored the terms that it got from EOS into its contracts with members, so it can pass on the contractual terms and take action if there is poor delivery. The programme will be overseen by a steering group comprising delivery members, council representatives and operational staff from the Prime Contractor that will meet once a month to ensure delivery is on track.

Evolution Darlington

Evolution, the local CVS in Darlington, is driving forward consortium formation locally.  Evolution is working with ACEVO Consortia Support to develop a consortium with a focus on health and social care services.  There is a specific contracting opportunity on the horizon, involving the establishment of a Community Support Network for vulnerable local residents who need access to flexible and responsive care and support within their community.  This opportunity will be a core focal point for the emerging consortium, but it is anticipated that it will ultimately be in a position to bid for a wide range of tender opportunities.

Consortia Support has facilitated a scoping workshop for the local sector and out of this has emerged a working group consisting of a number of leaders of local voluntary sector agencies, supported by Evolution.  This working group is tasked with getting the consortium off the ground.  Consortia Support will be providing specialist input on business planning, financial modeling, membership criteria and legal and organisational structures, drawing on the comprehensive toolkit of resources that it has developed.

The health and social care consortium development will run alongside another Darlington consortium start-up initiative that revolves around services for local children and young people.

 

 
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