Partnership working that generates a joint understanding of a common service problem and pools resources and knowledge to create a shared responsibility for improving outcomes.
A stand-alone service provision shoud not always be the first choice of market managers, if there are potential cost savings through service integration which can exploit opportunities for innovation not possible through separate provision.
Existing services elswhere in the public sector may have in place the ICT networks, technology and the staff through which a new service could be delivered, and can operate as a potential integration partner. Integrating these areas should be a first consideration where additional budget is not an option.
A partnership should provide structures that promote joint problem solving, management and operational delivery to generate a shared vision for the service solution. The types of partnership considered could range from the simple sharing of data and intelligence to improve a service design; the co-location of services to stimulate economies of scale; joint thinking by formerly separate teams working together; or the pooling of budgets to develop a joint venture.
Integrating local services is a focus for local authorities seeking to improve service outcomes. Choosing the right business model to integrate services is important. These include: aligned budgeting, where two or more partners aligning their activities and budgets to deliver agreed outcomes; alliance contracting, where one contract is formed between the commissioner and an alliance of parties who deliver the service with collective ownership.
Joint commissioning, joint ventures, payment by results and pooled budgets can also be considered. Alliance contracting and joint ventures require a stronger relationship between local partners; if this is insufficient, councils should consider beginning the process with a simpler arrangement such as aligned budgeting, before moving towards the stronger model.
Pooling resources within geographies will also create a less fragemented approach to reducing re-offedning. Current trends in the criminal justice space to integrate probation with local services (mental health support, social services, housing, etc.) are also growing in practice.
Pooling resources within geographies will also create a less fragemented service. Current trends in the welfare-to-work sector to join with local services (health, social services, education etc.) are also growing in practice.