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Blithering cleans up


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Thursday, 19 November 2015

Blithering cleans up

Blithering Total Wellbeing PACS came away with many of the top prizes at last night’s HSJ Awards.

The highly integrated health and social care provider was formed recently from  a merger of the Blithering and East Churlish CCGs, NHS Stalling Foundation Trust, Fallow District Council and Irene’s Minimart, Pharmacy and Walk-in Centre, the only shop and out-of-hours health service provider left in the area since the new Tesco megastore opened on the ring road.

Blithering came first in the Most Highly Integrated category, narrowly beating Rumthorpe Integrated Health Solutions from somewhere up north.

The judges said: “What impressed us about Blithering’s entry was the sheer scale of their ambition in bringing together a number of failing organisations to form a single highly efficient population oriented provider solution.” They also noted Blithering’s impressive cost-savings as the result of the disposal of former NHS and council staff and premises and the downsizing of the headquarters operation, which is now based above the dry cleaners.

Accepting the award, Blithering chief executive, Councillor Alan Spume, said Blithering had applied for a fully devolved budget giving it full control of spending on local services. The so-called DevoBlith project is said to be a favourite of Chancellor George Osborne, particularly as it is nowhere near his own constituency. 

Noting the imminent merger of Blithering Total Wellbeing with Blithering Docs R Us, the local GP federation, and plans to move into education with Blithering Achievement, an academy school for all ages and abilities, Councillor Spume said: “We’re just getting started in Blithering. Watch this space. It can only get bigger.”

Among other awards to Blithering were:

  • Most Innovative Person-Centred New Model of Care with Population-Based Accountability Working Collaboratively as a Whole System – runner-up to Teesmade Healthy Lives 4U, an accountable care organisation from somewhere up north
  • Financial Success Story of the Year - while Blithering has historically been at or near the bottom of every league table of financial performance, its fortunes have reversed in recent years thanks to £20m in handouts from the Better Care Fund, the Prime Minister’s GP Access Fund and the Vanguard programme
  • Leadership Team of the Year – the Blithering team led by Councillor Spume, Dr Liz Wanhope and head of communications and stakeholder engagement Martin Plackard, were commended in this category. HSJ editor Alastair McLellan called them “completely unbelievable in every sense of the word”.

Showbiz editor: Julian Patterson


Note that the commenting facility will be disabled from 5pm on 19 November until 5pm on the 20th as the site will be down for maintenance. Meanwhile, flowers, champagne and messages of congratulation to the Blithering team can be sent to the usual address.