When six CCGs planned to merge to become the single strategic commissioner for the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Integrated Care System, a new organisational development (OD) strategy was needed to underpin the whole system approach.
Arden & GEM’s OD Consultancy was tasked with supporting the development of an OD strategy for the merging CCGs through close collaboration with the in-house OD Manager and Executive Director responsible for transition, HR and OD, with a focus on culture, structure and staff engagement.
By successfully working together and identifying desired objectives, a comprehensive OD strategy was developed and approved as part of the transition planning. This strategy is now being delivered and embedded to enhance the organisation’s effectiveness and performance.
Throughout England, CCGs have been encouraged to consider mergers to support system-wide thinking and streamlined commissioning. By aligning commissioning strategies, decisions and processes across a larger population, CCGs will be better able to work as part of an Integrated Care System (ICS) to improve population health and reduce health inequalities.
Within Nottinghamshire, six CCGs planned to merge on 1 April 2020, to become the single CCG and strategic commissioner for the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire ICS, under a single executive and senior leadership team.
To make this change successful and sustainable, development approaches were needed to develop a new organisational culture that embraced ‘system partnership thinking’ and a ‘whole system approach’.
Having worked closely with the CCGs in Nottinghamshire since their inception, Arden & GEM’s local OD Business Partner was tasked with supporting the development of an OD strategy for the merging CCG.
Together with the in-house OD Manager and Executive Director of Transition, HR and OD, stakeholders were engaged from across the merging organisations. A key vehicle for this was the staff engagement group, which our OD service became an integral part of.
Fortnightly project group meetings soon identified that agreeing common organisational values across the six merging CCGs was crucial to developing a new culture. A ‘time out’ session was facilitated to enable approximately 250 staff to participate in exercises resulting in core values being identified for the new organisation.
To establish the direction and ambition for the OD strategy; national, local and organisational drivers were analysed.
This ensured alignment with national strategies such as the:
- Interim NHS People Plan
- NHS Improvement Developing People Improving Care national framework
- Healthcare Leadership Model.
National context was interlaced with the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire People and Culture Strategy, CCG drivers and strategic priorities, and the newly agreed values to define OD objectives.
Objectives were translated into a clear action plan, with agreed timescales and governance assurance.
Once the OD objectives and approach had been agreed by the new leadership team and accepted as part of the merger application, Arden & GEM continued to work with the CCG on practical delivery.
This support has included:
- Continued membership of the staff engagement group
- Supporting the design of a new virtual approach to induction
- Delivering resilience development sessions throughout the transition period
- Providing team development and relationship building support
- Maintaining links with the local system OD collaborative.
By working collaboratively with staff and other stakeholders, we were able to support the design of an OD strategy to meet the needs and objectives of the merging CCGs.
As well as securing approval from the executive leadership team, the OD strategy was also accepted by NHS England and NHS Improvement as part of the merger application. Both the OD strategy and plan are aligned with other transition strategies and workstreams.
Arden & GEM also provided support to the HR workstream and overall programme management for the successful merger of the new single CCG that took place on 1 April 2020.