THE launch of Bradford Care Alliance is “a real chance to step up the challenges ahead”, according to our Chairman Dr Richard Haddad. In his first open letter to all shareholders since his appointment, said now is the time to “seize the opportunity” and “not shy away from what we are capable of”. Read the letter in full:

Dear Shareholders of the Bradford Care Alliance,

Welcome to our first e bulletin as a formally elected Board of Directors. I am honoured to have been appointed by the Board to chair this new organisation as we find our feet and deliver the best for our patients in Bradford. I see this as a real chance to step up to the challenges ahead, a challenge which General Practice is well equipped to deal with if we can work together and focus on building the best services with our patients.

Nationally and locally we are poised to move work into the community and as the Physician with responsibility for patients when they are out of hospital I feel we are in a good position to serve our patients well, the system well (which faces huge challenges), and in the process secure the future for General Practice. I look forward to working hard with the elected Board of Directors to deliver this reality, but it will require effort from us all.

When you are all exhausted I know this feels like a big ask, but I feel this is the time to seize the opportunity and not shy away from what we are capable of. I believe we have a hugely empowered and skilful primary care workforce to engage in these times of change, but there is no doubt that change is coming, and we will need to work together to see that we achieve the best of the challenges ahead. 

In forming the Bradford Care Alliance we have shown how working together, rather than competing, gives us more opportunity and the election results have maintained the alliance that was started with our “fed of feds” meetings, supported by the LMC. We have representation on the Board from each of the federations that encompass the majority of Bradford practices:

  • Shahid Ali – Local Health Matters
  • Ish Gilkar – City Care
  • Nick Nurden – Trust Primary Care
  • Adrian Roebuck – Paracelsus

We have not only surprised ourselves with our ability to put history behind us, but our colleagues in secondary care, commissioning, local authority and third sector look on with amazement at what we have achieved and agreed in such a short time. Well done!

I am privileged to be asked to lead a group of such talented Directors. We are working to establish our roles and responsibilities in order to come to you on Tuesday 4th October at an evening meeting (Please hold the date!!) with clear Director roles (playing to our collective strengths), a clear strategy, organisational resilience and the maturity required to progress within the forming provider alliance. Progression to an Accountable Care Partnership is inevitable and we are well placed to have a seat at the table for its development. We have confirmed that the members of the Bradford Provider Alliance are BCA, BTHFT, BDCFT, LA and we await a third sector alliance that can join us. 

We are already being approached by organisations wanting us to be part of their provider bids, as without us they are woefully underpowered in their approach to commissioners. The Local Authority drug and alcohol tender, which we have to consider our position on rapidly, is a good example of how opportunities not foreseen at the outset will emerge.

We need to discuss with you as a priority the wider remit of the Bradford Care Alliance, beyond diabetes work, for which we were conceived, because the opportunities keep presenting themselves. This does not mean we have an intention to step beyond the terms of the shareholders agreement, but feel as a board that we need a steer to be able to engage with organisations asking for our support.

This is already too long, I surprised myself at how much I wanted to convey about the BCA, but needless to say we have some interesting times ahead and I feel excited to be fronting a General Practice Provider Alliance such as ourselves. I feel that while working closely with our colleagues at the LMC we can achieve an awful lot if we set our minds to it.