Communications Manager for Locala Community Partnerships, a community interest company (kind of social enterprise) providing NHS community services in West Yorkshire
In response to the above two comments:
All 20 colleagues (18 school nurses, one youth offending team nurse and one member of the admin team) were TUPE’d to Locala Community Partnerships after we were awarded the contract and under Agenda for Change kept their terms and conditions. They have brought with them and will continue in their NHS pensions.
Locala was previously the provider arm of NHS Kirklees, the local primary care trust, and became a community interest company (a kind of social enterprise) in October 2011. Those of us who were employees at that time were TUPE’d with our Agenda for Change terms and conditions intact. We are not an NHS organisation; people who work here are employed by Locala not the NHS but Locala holds contracts to provide NHS services, be that from clinical commissioning groups, Public Health or NHS England. We are a third sector – not private sector - organisation and our employees can be shareholder members if they wish (currently 85% are). We also have community members and representatives from both groups together with two local councillors and a GP form a Members’ Council which plays a very active part in the governance of the organisation, maintaining its values and liaising with the Locala Board. Locala doesn’t pay dividends to shareholders - their reward is involvement rather than cash – and is required to put back any surpluses into service development or into the community and we have a small grant scheme to support local charitable and community groups, which the Members’ Council oversees.
As a provider of NHS services we are inspected by the Care Quality Commission and also have to meet the equally exacting standards of the Community Interest Company Regulator and of course those of our commissioners. We absolutely train and recruit to NHS standards; we have very strong governance in place and a very secure, electronic, cloud-based patient information system. We adhere to the same rules about sharing patient information as an NHS organisation.
Being a social enterprise has given us the freedom and flexibility to invest in technology to such an extent that our clinicians are fully mobile, using their laptops to access and input information whether seeing a patient in a clinic or their home. Whilst with a patient they can use the technology to show a colleague their patient’s wound /condition and seek a second opinion. We’re saving time for both patient and clinician and providing a better service. We have a 5-8pm health visitor advice line in place and are developing video appointments, where appropriate, both of which our patients love.
Locala is recognised nationally as a leading and innovative provider of NHS community healthcare services. Last year we were awarded Investors in People Silver accreditation and in a recent survey more than two thirds of colleagues would recommend working for Locala.
I’m not in a position to answer all of Peter Edwards’ questions but hope I have given enough information to rectify the lack of knowledge about community interest companies generally and about Locala in particular. If anyone wants to know more please go to our website www.locala.org.uk
Amanda Thomas, Communications Manager, Locala Community Partnerships