We created an effective programme management office (PMO) to support Shropshire CCG and Telford and Wrekin CCG during their merger in 2021.
In 2020, Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Telford & Wrekin CCG sought additional support from MLCSU for a fixed period project/programme management office (PMO) function associated with the proposed merger of the two organisations to create a single clinical commissioning group.
The CCG is about to embark on a significant period of change as it begins its transformation from a ‘traditional’ clinical commissioning group to a strategic commissioner in line with the NHS Long Term Plan. This transformation will require extensive and targeted people and organisational development support to lead the design, development and implementation of the changes needed.
The initial phase of this transformational change involves the formal disestablishment of the two current organisations in order to create a new single CCG; this was proposed to have a target date of April 1, 2021 subject to a successful application, with significant activity undertaken ahead of this to ensure the current organisations were able to transition to this new arrangement successfully and safely.
MLSU’s Improvement Unit provided PMO support for the merger. We focused upon providing a robust and resilient PMO function to the CCGs, to help ensure that all merger activities are coordinated and delivered in line with local delivery and implementation plans, and to support the identification of any risks and issues which might arise – with mitigation actions put in place to deal with them, where needed.
Other actions include:
- Creating a programme plan – developing a comprehensive programme plan which includes all of the detail associated with all aspects of the merger including, lead, key dates, internal reporting, etc. It is essential that the programme plan is sufficiently clear to provide assurance that all steps being undertaken are understood and are fully planned
- A risk register – developing a merger risk register to record and report any strategic and operational risks identified
- Stakeholder engagement/document submission – arranging regular meetings with all of the workstreams, including regular reports, supporting the development of submission documentation with each workstream lead and arranging for the secure storage and submission of documents to NHSEI on the agreed submission dates.
MLCSU support during the development of the programme has resulted in many benefits to the CCGs. These include the following.
The development of a clear programme structure and PMO:
- Face-to-face meetings, allowing a greater visibility and the ability to structure the programme
- The PMO are involved in the shaping of the programme and in ensuring that progress is sustained and that any risks identified are mitigated.
The development of key documentation:
- We have managed the submission of documents to NHSEI
- Joint meetings have been arranged with workstream leads to support the development of submission documents and to review the documentation against the criteria set by NHSEI throughout the transition.
Improved flow of information:
- We have built a good working relationship between PMO, CCGs and NHS England and Improvement (NHSEI)
- We have helped to improve understanding of the key lines of enquiry (KLOEs) and the requirements from the regulatory body. Following this, we have cascaded them to the CCG workstream leads.
Production and continued management of the programme plan:
- A detailed programme plan has been produced, which has been well received by internal and NHSEI staff, updated and distributed weekly to the Joint Exec group and referred to as a master document for the transition
- This plan includes all of the relevant workstream actions (operational and transactional) and milestones throughout the process from proposal to creation of a single CCG.
Production and continued management of the risk register:
- We have produced a comprehensive risk log which has been well received by internal and NHSEI staff and which is updated and distributed on a weekly basis to the Joint Exec group.