by Alison Waller, Managing Director, Tricuro
Health and care in the UK faces increasing challenges, both financially and in terms of growing demand for services. For some time now, the narrative has been that there needs to be transformational change in the way in which organisations work individually and collaboratively if we are to overcome these challenges, from the needs of an ageing population to the increasing prevalence of long-term conditions.
Based in Poole, Tricuro is a joint-venture local authority trading company wholly owned by Dorset Council and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council. Launched in July 2015, Tricuro is based on a vision of our shareholders to create an arms-length organisation, entrusting the company to continue to deliver and improve adult social services across Dorset.
Tricuro has a turnover of approximately £40 million and employs around 1,500 staff from local communities, who provide care and support to over 6,000 clients per year across 40 locations and within people’s own homes across the county of Dorset. Services include residential and nursing home provision, day services and wider community support services, and reablement and home care services. These vital services support older people, younger adults with learning and/or physical disabilities, people with mental health needs and people with dementia and challenging behaviours.
Tricuro represents a significant proportion of the total adult social care spend in Dorset and is governed by an executive shareholder group (ESG) of 10 elected councillors, who work closely with the board to agree our strategic direction. The legal and commercial interests of the councils as shareholders are considered and protected, while delivering key strategic priorities of their respective councils in the context of significant financial pressures.
Tricuro was the proud recipient of the Most Outstanding Care Provider in the UK in 2018 accolade from the Over 50s Housing Awards. Testament to the delivery of significant success under our complex governance arrangements, this award reflects the challenges we have faced in delivering £5 million in savings and efficiencies while maintaining and improving service quality and driving culture change.
Income from private trading has enabled Tricuro to invest in technology and trial innovative ways of supporting our clients and their families. Digital care planning and cloud-based analytics have enhanced our ability to provide evidence of the quality of care delivered while improving efficiency and productivity. Our introduction of virtual reality into dementia services across Dorset saw Tricuro crowned winners in the Health category of the Smart Cities UK awards in London in January 2019. This award honoured the behaviour change, education, technology and innovation efforts within the company to overcome economic and social challenges and deliver improved outcomes for people
As a strategic partner of two local authorities in a developing Integrated care system in Dorset, Tricuro is in a unique position to facilitate transformation in social care. Working closely with our system partners, we have the opportunity to enhance our delivery of high-quality care and support, by acting as a test bed to harness the potential to integrate health and social care through technology. Our ability to create growth and development opportunities means we can explore innovative collaborations and relationships, adding value for our shareholders in an expanding digitally enabled environment.
Traditionally, efforts to drive change through digital transformation in health and care are met with barriers such as workforce challenges, budgetary constraints, cultural attitudes towards risk, and the relationships between care providers and key stakeholders. Our own journey of digital transformation has highlighted that many of these barriers can be overcome by treating digital projects as change projects, not IT projects. Effective, consistent staff engagement and resource allocation to the project are key factors, as the success or failure of any digital project comes down to people, not the software or hardware itself.
The next phase of our digital transformation journey will focus on harnessing data-driven insight for improved quality assurance and person-centred outcomes. Through reviewing our systems and understanding our challenges, we have been able to identify a way forward that can accelerate our operational oversight, automating reporting processes, and empower our teams to go beyond the expected and delivery truly outstanding care and support that improves lives and builds independence.
To find out more, visit tricuro.co.uk.