Primary and Acute Collaboration

The journey from A to B in South Somerset started with the belief that we had to understand the data, and identify who were our regular consumers – as you would in any sector.
Working with York University, the CSU and Oliver Wyman, we created one of the most detailed whole population data sets that showed some quite amazing facts.

“We had to understand who our frequent flyers were – any business would do this, but the NHS has lagged behind the curve. A small change to the most regular consumers of healthcare could have a massive impact on the sustainability of the system.”

Paul Mears – CEO Yeovil Hospital


The foundations of the journey was established from a deep dive into the population data that showed 4% of the people in South Somerset were consuming 50% of the health care costs – yet little was being done to manage these patients in any different way to the healthy.

This data sat alongside and in fact reinforced the fundamental belief that only way we can stem the flow of consumers hitting the most expensive parts of the system is true collaboration between Primary and Acute care, and then wider with a truly integrated health provider network.

The journey we have been on has been developed with our primary care colleagues.


The data was shared, joint Development Boards formed, joint investment decisions taken and new care models engineered, implemented and reviewed together. The levels of trust have grown and continue to grow by the month.

Not only are we transforming the way healthcare is delivered, we have also now set up a primary care business, ‘Symphony Healthcare Services’, giving any GP Practices the opportunity to integrate their business into this new primary care entity, providing salary security, shared back office functions and removing the strains of business ownership. However, this is a choice, and we are equally supported those practices that wish to continue to manage their own organisations, with new roles, financial support, and still retaining their voice for all transformational decision making.

The journey we have been on with primary care has been critical to the long term future of our healthcare delivery. We have demonstrated that trust can be built and collaboration can start to change the lives of patients and healthcare workers. We have learnt many, many lessons, and have the solutions for a whole range of HR, property, GP licence, new care model development and relationship management issues – there is no point in reinventing the wheel again.”

Mandy Seymour-Hanbury – COO Symphony Healthcare Services

ACO readiness

Scaling up new care models and delivering STP plans will be supported through the vehicle of an ACO.

This entity with aligned incentives will take on the management of a long term outcomes based contract – relationships are developing and the ACO will include all of the county’s major providers, with the relationship with Primary Care being at its heart. Detailed intervention plans, actuarial analysis and investment plans have been developed, and risk handover phasing being discussed with commissioners.

ACO structure, Governance and manpower capacity and skills planning can be lengthy decision points, and passing through regulatory assurance check point successes will be critical to moving forward for every region.

The CCG in Somerset aim to release the tender in early 2017, with the ACO forming rapidly to take on the whole population healthcare management towards the year end.

Wellchester have developed one of the UK’s most advanced set of IP around primary and acute collaboration and integration – shortcut your journey, and let us show you how we are starting to transform the lives of GP’s. Better still let us introduce you to some of our local GP’s who can share their experience.

Commercial partnerships

A realisation that the NHS and each NHS organisation does not have the skills or level of resource to drive the change at the scale that is needed to transform the sector was at the heart of the development of a range of global partnerships.

Even from the outset the strategy was informed by global best practice from both public, but predominantly private sector organisations.

Some of the partnerships we have formed.