LDC Group had worked periodically with Carrington Health over a five-year period when we were engaged to undertake an environmental scan to inform long term (15 years) service planning for Carrington Health. The information gathered through this process was to be used to inform Carrington Health’s thinking about what and how they services would be delivered in the future and what they would need to have in place as an organisation to be able to deliver those services.
The project involved mapping changes in demographics and identifying the likely needs of future populations, review of emerging trends in government policy and the health sector more broadly and consideration of what other changes were likely to occur in the sector that could impact the way Carrington Health delivered services in the future. Data gathering focussed on service areas which were of current or potential interest to Carrington Health. A series of priority areas were identified, across different age groups, and sectors including disability and disadvantaged communities. Within each priority area, there was consideration of
a) possible future service roles for Carrington Health
b) how to achieve maximum impact in these areas; and
c) what the organisation would need to focus on to be seen as a leader in each of the targeted areas
The emphasis was on positioning Carrington Health to be the ‘service delivery agency of choice’. A series of strategic action steps were then mapped out that would enable Carrington Health to take advantage of new developments as they emerged.
The examination of key demographic data demonstrated the different trends in the various populations, and where the emphasis should be for subsequent service development. Both, generic and specific capabilities (to meet the needs of different target groups) were identified for future development and strengthening across the organisation. Initially the idea of a 15-year Plan was seen as ambitious, however as the work developed the value of taking a long-term view became clear. It helped the organisation to identify the structures, capability, and capacity that Carrington Health would need in the future and to plan a strategic, staged approach to service and organisational development.
An additional benefit for Carrington Health that emerged from the process was that as a result of the engagement with the community, through their participation in a series of focus groups, they developed a sense of trust that Carrington Health was committed to providing services for the community and was going to be there for ‘the long haul’.