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Header image for the current page Key working service procurement recognised by UK National GO Awards

Key working service procurement recognised by UK National GO Awards

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Arden & GEM and Birmingham and Solihull ICS are delighted to have been named as finalists at the UK National GO Awards 2023/24, in the ‘Collaborative Procurement Initiative Award’ category, for a project to establish a children and young people’s key working service.

The NHS Long Term Plan included a commitment for all children and young people (CYP) with a learning disability or who are autistic, with the most complex needs, to have a key worker by 2023/24. Key workers ensure that CYP and their families get the right support at the right time to reduce stress and uncertainty, increase stability and avoid hospital admissions.

NHS Birmingham and Solihull ICB became an early adopter of the key worker scheme with a pilot service going live in 2021. A full-scale procurement was initiated for an ongoing service for CYP aged 0-25 years living with autism and/or a learning disability, rated amber or red on the dynamic support register and/or a current inpatient. The project awarded a five-year contract to the successful supplier with the service operational from spring 2024 to coincide with the end of the pilot phase.

Commenting on the shortlisting, Cathy Pearson, Procurement Officer at NHS Arden & GEM, said:
"It is a privilege to have been a named a finalist for these prestigious awards. The key working service is making a real difference for children, young people and their families in Birmingham and Solihull. We have developed a cross-system function with the ability to build relationships and access resources, with positive outcomes including improved mental health and wellbeing."

Given the complexity of the service and range of stakeholders involved, the procurement needed collaboration at its heart. The service specification was co-designed with experts by experience and a project steering group brought experts by experience together with procurement expertise from Arden & GEM, commissioning leadership from the ICB and service knowledge from the local authority.

“This procurement has demonstrated how a service can be impacted by co-production. The service specification design and the procurement process itself were heavily influenced by our Experts by Experience and one of them kindly sat on our scoring panel. We had a dedicated group of professionals from across our local system whose joint aim was to select the best possible provider for this service through robust questioning and scoring.”

Clare Yarnall, Commissioning Manager, Learning Disabilities and Autism at NHS Birmingham and Solihull ICB

Celebrating excellence in public procurement, the UK National GO Awards will announce the winners at a ceremony on Thursday 16 May, taking place at the Titanic Hotel in Liverpool.

Click here to view the full list of finalists.