Swansea Bay University Health Board logo - April 2019In 2022, Swansea Bay University Health Board (SBUHB) began the process of developing a Third Sector Providers Framework. SBUHB have issued an update in relation to the Framework (24th October 2023), which you can read here.

24th October 2023

“This document has been prepared to update the voluntary sector on the Health Board’s recommissioning process. 

We recognise that this process has taken longer than we all would have liked, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, departmental restructure in the Health Board and changes to staffing.  West Glamorgan Regional Partnership Board (RPB) has also launched the Emotional and Mental Wellbeing Strategy, which changes the way we want to approach the commissioning of Tier 0/1 services as a region.

It is important to recognise that this is the first time a Health Board in Wales has tried to implement such a process across all providers at the same time, which gives a particular challenge for the sector, the Health Board and our procurement colleagues. 

In light of these changes, a review has been carried out by the Strategy Directorate and Directorate of Insight, Communications and Engagement (DICE) within the Health Board to ensure that any changes to the process and timescales are both realistic and achievable and will not have to be changed again.

Our priority always has been, and remains, to make sure that the process is done well, in partnership with the sector, rather than at a pace which makes this impossible.  We are also very conscious that we need to ensure we do not destabilise the sector through this process because of its critical role in supporting our citizens.

In respect of the above, the Interim Director of Strategy and Director of DICE will now propose to the Health Board meeting on 30th November that ALL current service level agreements with the sector should be rolled over for 2024-25 with new contracts following recommissioning coming into effect from 1st April 2025. 

Also, within this paper, they will be confirming the funding assumptions for 2024-25 and will give a fixed timeline for activities to enable the recommissioning to be completed within this period, with continuity of those involved from the Health Board, and no disruption to services.

As part of this timeline we are still planning to test out the process with a small number of contracts so that we can evaluate this, with sector partners, and ensure any lessons learnt can be applied to the process prior to the remaining contracts being let.

Also, as described earlier, the West Glamorgan (RPB) has now agreed a new Emotional and Mental Wellbeing (E&MW) Strategy, focusing on a move to prevention and early intervention. The provision of Tier 0/1 services, some of which are commissioned by the Health Board for mental health, fall within the remit of this E&MW Strategy, so it will be important that the implications of the new Strategy are considered in our recommissioning work.  As a result, we have concluded that it does make sense for the recommissioning of Tier 0/1 mental health services to be done in conjunction with the RPB and in line with the new E&MH Strategy.

There will be a need to work through the detail of this with our RPB colleagues and the Commissioning department from the Strategy Directorate and the Engagement department from DICE will work together to take this work forward, with Jo Abbott-Davies and Nicola O’Sullivan (DICE) working alongside Kerry Broadhead and Patricia Jones (commissioning).

In line with our normal practice, we will share with you the Health Board paper, setting out the above, in advance of the meeting on 30th November.  We have the Third Sector Regional Health, Social Care & Wellbeing Network meeting on Monday 4th December at 12pm so we will be able to update you then on the decisions made at the meeting.  We have also offered to attend a special meeting of the Network prior to this to explain the position should the sector feel this would be helpful.

Whilst we’re sure you will share our disappointment that the timeline for the recommissioning needs to be reset again, we hope you can understand the reasons for this, and the need to ensure we do not destabilise services in the meantime.  We remain committed to ensuring that the process is done well, in partnership with the sector, and for the benefit of all our service users and carers.

Nerissa Vaughan                                                  

Interim Director of Strategy 

CC: Richard Thomas

Director of Insight, Engagement & Fundraising

CC: Joanne Abbot-Davies

Assistant Director of Insight, Engagement & Fundraising

CC: Kerry Broadhead

Assistant Director of Strategy Commissioning & Sustainability"

If you would like to find out more about the Regional Health Social Care & Wellbeing network, click here

For information on the work around the Third Sector Providers Framework which took place in 2022, click here.