Rachel McMillan’s latest blog – Collaborations for the future

We’re all very familiar with partnership working in business. We see brands coming together all the time for mutual benefit.

By Rachel McMillan on March 30, 2022

Look at the recent partnership with Greggs and Primark, for example – sausage rolls and t-shirts don’t have an obvious synergy, but their collaboration has been reported in the press and on social media too, with sales doing brilliantly. Their partnership is definitely not a pasty… 

But, many people don’t realise that in health and social care, partnerships are critical to what we do too.  Working in collaboration with others is the best way to ensure excellent care for patients and it’s vitally important. 

With headlines rightly focusing on the NHS, especially during the pandemic, we’re all acutely aware of resourcing and pressures that teams are under. 

But, when thinking of that big health and social care picture, it’s also important to remember charities and other organisations who work alongside the NHS to ensure patients and those closest to them receive the very best holistic care. Partnerships are key to enable care that truly wraps around the patient whether in hospital, in the place they call home, or out in the community. 

At St Ann’s, collaboration is also at the heart of everything we do.  Whether that’s supporting NHS colleagues or sharing our specialist knowledge and expertise, working alongside others is incredibly important. 

A great example I’m really proud of is that we’ve recently joined forces with The Christie to provide chemotherapy services and other anti-cancer treatments at our Little Hulton hospice site.  In practice, this means that some patients who live in Salford or near to Little Hulton no longer need to cross the city to go to The Christie hospital for their treatment.  They can simply come to our hospice instead. 

We’ve had great feedback from the patients who have done so, including one man who lives in Little Hulton and was thrilled he could walk to and from his treatment, rather than have to get multiple buses.  It may sound like a simple project, but it’s one that has really improved the experiences of local patients, and that makes us proud. 

We’ve also been working with members of the homeless community in the city centre, helping to improve the experiences of homeless people who may need palliative or end of life care.  Teaming up with professionals from across the sector, whilst sharing our specialist knowledge, has meant that we’ve been able to improve the lives of homeless patients, whilst also helping to ensure that their needs and wishes are better met, especially as they near the end of their life.  This can only be achieved with a fully joined up approach, working with the various agencies and individuals, to achieve the best outcomes. 

There’s also a really exciting partnership in progress with the University of Salford, who we’ve collaborated with to deliver an exciting palliative care focused leadership and management masters programme for clinical leaders and future leaders.  It’s really great to be able to share our knowledge and expertise with others, and to help equip healthcare professionals with the tools to deliver even better care for patients and those closest to them. 

Collaborations like these take time to build and deliver, and they’re not always talked about as much as the sausage rolls and t-shirts of this world might be.  But, with them, the care patients and their families receive is truly better, and that’s definitely worth shouting about. 

Find out more about our different services and partnerships

Click here