Governance Structure for Connected Together Community Interest Company (CTCIC) - Holders of the Healthwatch Northamptonshire (HWN) Contract
Purpose of this statement: To describe how CTCIC ensures effective delivery of HWN functions as set out by the Health and Social Care Act 2012, supporting regulations, the law relating to CICs and the contract with Northamptonshire County Council (NCC).
- A CIC is a business run for social good. Healthwatch Northamptonshire was been set up as a CIC in 2013. In September 2016 the CIC changed it name to Connected Together. Connected Together CIC holds the Healthwatch Northamptonshire contract.
- Healthwatch is a statutory champion for people who use health and social care. Healthwatch was established in April 2013, as part of the reforms contained in the Health and Social Care 2012
- The role of Healthwatch is to act as a consumer champion for local people in relation to health and social care
- Regulations were published in March 2013 supplementing the detail of the rights and responsibilities of HW (rights to enter and view; rights to information; responsibility to meet in public a number of times a year; responsibility to produce an annual report)
- There are 152 Healthwatch areas in England and they are all commissioned by upper tier local authorities. Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) commissions HWN and there is a Services Agreement (contract) between NCC and CTCIC.
- CTCIC is a private company limited by shares and was established on 19 April 2013 (as HWN CIC). The shareholders are the University of Northampton (UN) which owns 51% of the shares and Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire (VIN) which owns 49% of the shares. CTCIC is a company which pursues social objectives and delivers benefit for the local community – the fundamental principle of a CIC
The CTCIC board is the legal entity and is the governing body for all activity for CTCIC and contracts it holds. Its remit includes:
- Contract compliance – currently there is a single contract for HWN with NCC. CTCIC is responsible for the delivery of the contract. The intention is that CTCIC will develop a diverse portfolio of funding sources including potentially other contracts, agreements, affiliations and subscriptions.
- Ensuring CTCIC is compliant with the legal requirements of a business and Community Interest Company
- Financial and risk management – through a finance and audit committee which is accountable to the CTCIC Board
- Sustainability and growth of CTCIC – income generation – through the Innovation and Sustainability Committee which is accountable to the CTCIC Board
- Agreeing the strategy and operational plan for CTCIC
- Agreeing policies and procedures
The CTCIC Board is required to have up to two Directors from each shareholder and one from Northamptonshire County Council. It currently has two Directors from UN, one Director from VIN, a Chairperson nominated by NCC and one lay member (who is also on the Healthwatch Northamptonshire Board). Both the shareholders receive a management fee (split 70:30/UN:VIN) to cover the cost of their time and input.
The CTCIC Board is currently accountable to NCC for contract delivery and there is mutual two-way responsibility between the CTCIC Board and the HWN Board.
The Healthwatch Northamptonshire Board governs the work of the HWN contract and is the mechanism by which CTCIC communicates and engages with local people, health and social care decision makers for Northamptonshire and other stakeholders to influence improved health and social care outcomes. The HWN Board acts as a conduit between the CTCIC Board and the local population of Northamptonshire. The HWN Board started with five members, all appointed by NCC, to ensure that HWN meaningfully engages with the population of Northamptonshire on health and social care issues. The Chair of the Board is contracted with NCC separately and receives remuneration, separately, from NCC. The Board membership has grown to include greater diversity and democracy in relation to age, ethnicity and geographical location as well as building greater involvement of local people. The HWN Board Ensures effective delivery of the contract with NCC by helping to shape the HWN strategy and operational plan and ensuring its effective delivery by:
- Ensuring that the board, staff and volunteers of HWN engage with, and empower, a wide diversity of local people to make their voice count in relation to health and social care
- Proactively gathering, listening to and representing the views and experiences of local people in relation to health and social care – this will be done through a number of decision making bodies, the most significant of which is the seat on the County’s Health and Wellbeing board which is taken by the Chair of HWN
- Empowering local people – patients, carers, service users, patient organisations and user groups – to influence the quality of health and social care in the County
The HWN Board meets quarterly.
HWN Planning Group:
The planning group undertake a core function of HWN, including Enter and View of health and social care services/premises; gathering the views of people who use health and social care services; representing HWN at a range of meetings/events with commissioners and providers and contributing to the development of HWN responses to key consultation processes. They meet every two months.
The group works closely to the HWN Strategic and Operational Plans and identify priorities, which reflect issues that affect broadly across the community, and are evidenced by multiple independent sources of concern. The planning group is open to all volunteers who can engage directly with the issues that are of interest and undertake more detailed work and local collaborations to ensure that the voices of all consumers, patients and carers are heard.
There is also a group of young volunteers - Young Healthwatch Northamptonshire
CTCIC and HWN Staff Team:
CTCIC has recruited a staff team, headed up by a General Manager. Staff are employed by CTCIC and work to policies and procedures agreed by the CTCIC Board. The team ensures the effective day to day delivery of the HWN functions, and those of other contracts, including:
- Engaging with the local community to improve health and social care and health and wellbeing outcomes
- Developing and implementing strategy and operational plans
- Researching and reporting the views and experiences of local people
- Campaigning for improved health and social care outcomes
- Volunteer recruitment, development and empowerment
- Stakeholder management
- Internal and external communications
- Monitoring and scrutiny of health and social care
- Contract and legal compliance
- Information and signposting
- Servicing the governance structure of HWN and CTCIC