Advancing mental health services by making winter funding go further

Using our expertise to support NHSE South East Regional Winter Planning 19/20 and 20/21

The challenge

In November 2020 NHSE/I made £2.7m regional winter funding monies available to all South East systems. Each was required to submit a series of bids for innovative pilot schemes which would address Mental Health (MH)-related impacts on healthcare delivery over the coming winter. South East NHSE/I MHLDA Regional Team was leading on the allocation of this funding, through a process of panel bid evaluation. SCW’s MH Team has longstanding working relationships within the South East, so the team was approached to support the management and coordination of the bid collation, evaluation, and allocation process. Applications for funding of this kind are often run by Programme Management Offices in local Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs). But running it at a regional level – a region containing six STPs – and using an independent, external partner like SCW to run the programme created an opportunity to see the money work harder and deliver across the whole patch.

Our solution

We were able to quickly mobilise and respond to a very tight national deadline. We supported the process by reviewing all bid submissions, providing feedback, advice, and support to applicants as well as evaluators. We additionally led the assessment of bids, the evaluation, and allocation process, co-ordinating and managing communications between NHSE/I and individual systems.

Next steps

  • SCW has led the design and co-production of the evaluation methodology for all winter schemes and will support systems to monitor their winter schemes.
  • In 21/22 SCW will collate the outcomes of the evaluation process to inform a regional winter funding evaluation report. This report will provide the basis for a shared learning session with all systems jointly facilitated by NHSE and SCW.

Added value

  • Swift and robust governance and co-ordination process was mobilised within days of request
  • Learning from 2019-20 process meant that improvements could be easily incorporated
  • The team’s clear understanding of the bid criteria and context added real value to the process

'It’s been extremely valuable to have the dedicated support from SCW CSU … developing bespoke improvement projects around .. winter planning .. bringing in relevant expertise and sound leadership'.

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