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New Governance and Ownership of EQUIP from August 2017

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09 Aug 2017

EQUIP has recently been operating as a department of Mid Essex CCG and the CCG decided in late 2015 that it should no longer host what is in reality a provider organisation. The Governance of EQUIP had also gradually eroded to the extent that there was no established accountability to practices or stakeholders. The CCG therefore entered into talks with the LMC, with the consent of the other CCGs, about transferring EQUIP and establishing it as an appropriately governed organisation.

The Board of the Essex LMCs Ltd (operational company of the GP representative bodies, the North and South Essex Local Medical Committees) therefore approved negotiations into the business transfer of EQUIP from the CCG. For operational reasons it was decided that the new host should be placed under the umbrella of Supporting Health (Essex) Ltd (SHEL) which was set up by senior LMC members 6 years ago to provide clinical governance support to general practice. Essex EQUIP Ltd is therefore incorporated as a wholly owned subsidiary of SHEL. This transfer includes the ¨Deducation¡¬ part of the business, with the NHS Audit function transferring to NEE CCG.

Essex EQUIP Ltd will soon establish a new Board which will include LMC, practice and education representatives, the first duty of which will be to stabilise the organisation, support the staff, and continue the good work of the past years. There has been no opportunity to recruit or replace staff over the past two years and the remaining staff have done an admirable job in managing an increasing workload.

Linda Grimstead, the Business Development Manager of EQUIP, resigned early in 2017. The continued high performance of EQUIP, and the likelihood that this change will be something of a surprise to most practices, is entirely due to the dedication and hard work of the staff.

The current EQUIP premises are to be sold by the NHS to the private sector and the office must be vacated by September 2017. EQUIP will therefore be moving to new and larger premises in Witham approximately 300 metres from their current site. The new premises have significant additional capacity and will allow for more in house training. Essex EQUIP Ltd plans to move on August 17

The EPIC Workforce Development project will continue to be hosted by EQUIP until the end of September 2017. Talks are on

It has been a time of considerable flux and change is never easy for any organisation or its staff. SHEL has worked hard to ensure the transfer retained the current EQUIP team as one unit, namely Shirley Gair, Elaine Chapman, Jill Warn and Jill McHale, supported by their Clinical Lead Dr Kamilla Porter and Nurse Training Lead Lucy Archer, and facilitated the continuation of Karen Morris’s role in the EPIC Project.

Please be reassured that we will continue to communicate regularly with practices and stakeholders during this transition and we plan to build on the success of EQUIP. Furthermore there will be opportunities to expand into new areas in the future with the help and contribution of members, practices, CCGs, CEPNs (Community Education Provider Networks) and Health Education England.

Essex EQUIP Ltd is looking forward to a bright future ahead and the team have set to work already on preparing a packed programme for Autumn 2017 and into 2018.

Dr Brian Balmer 1/8/17

Essex EQUIP (Education and Quality in Primary Care) was established over 25 years ago to provide education and training support to general practice in Essex in order to improve the quality of care experienced by patients.

The organisation has been hosted by a number of NHS organisations during this period and has managed to both maintain its standards and build an enviable reputation for quality and consistency through constant NHS re-organisations.

The staff of both parts of EQUIP will continue to work together and to share premises. The LMCs and NEE CCG have an excellent working relationship which it is hoped will strengthen through this arrangement. th. -going about the future of EPIC but it has been recognised by all 7 CCGs that via its multi-professional website and other initiatives EPIC can provide a vital role in supporting delivery of the workforce elements of GPFV and as a workforce information hub for Essex.