The Glasgow Alliance to End Homelessness is a whole city approach to support and services for those who are homeless or at risk of being homeless in Glasgow. LH Alliances provided advice and facilitation of the Alliance specification, procurement strategy and launch of the new Alliance.
Glasgow’s Health and Social Care Partnership was keen to explore a collaboration across the city for homelessness services rather than the piecemeal approach in place. Alliance contracting seemed to be a good fit for them and they had widespread senior level support for proceeding.
Glasgow Homeless Network (now Homeless Network Scotland) had provided a collaborative space for providers and people with lived experiences to come together. There had been a co-produced, city-wide review of homelessness services, where the need for a more collaborative way of working was established. This was followed in 2017 by a series of workshops to co-design outcomes and shape the emerging ideas. The Health and Social Care Partnership was able to take these forward into the specification.
Glasgow Homeless Network also created a team of people with lived experiences to help with evaluation of bids during the procurement and continued expert advice to the Alliance.
The Glasgow Alliance to End Homelessness provides accommodation, personal support and routes into employment support for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Its objectives include ending rough sleeping, preventing homelessness and alleviating its impact, reducing the length of time people spend in temporary accommodation, minimising repeat homelessness and helping people who were formerly homeless maintain their tenancy.
Alongside the Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership, seven provider organisations make up the Alliance. The total funding allocation for which the Alliance is responsible is around £23 million.
The Alliance commenced in Spring 2020, at the time of the national lockdown to coronavirus. Despite this, the new governance and management structures were put in place and operated virtually for several months.
We will add links to updates on the Alliance as it progresses.
LH Alliances provided advice and facilitation throughout. We attended the co-production events in 2017 and then advised the team at Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership on the contract and procurement strategies. Initially this was around developing papers for internal approval for using an alliance contracting approach, liaising with the legal advisers to develop the Alliance Agreement and assisting with drafting the specification.
We advised on training for the team of people with lived experiences who assisted with the evaluations during procurement. There were face-to-face scenario sessions with bidder groups which LH Alliances facilitated.
Once alliance provider members were confirmed, LH Alliances joined the virtual Alliance Leadership Team meetings and coached individual members as requested. Team development sessions were planned but had to be cancelled due to Covid-19. Remote support and coaching continues to be provided.
Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership were committed to creating the alliance for very early on. The time between the co-production events and launching the procurement was used for drawing up the specification and legal documents and planning the procurement.
A competitive dialogue procedure was chosen as this would allow refinement of the delivery and other plans as the procurement proceeded. It was also used to demonstrate the change in the way the Health and Care Partnership wished to work.
The invitation to tender was issued in May 2019 and a number of dialogue sessions scheduled at 4-6 weeks intervals with final decision taking place in December, formally accepted in February 2020
One of the highlights of the procurement was the inclusion of people with lived experiences in the evaluation team. The Glasgow Homeless Network arranged training sessions for members of their Glasgow Homelessness Involvement & Feedback Team (GHIFT). This team is made up of people with lived experiences who provide an essential role of independent feedback and expertise for organisations.
The GHIFT members were involved in evaluating written submissions and the group dynamics and innovation tested in scenario workshops. It was the first time the Health and Social Care Partnership had embedded people in this way. One of them remarked afterwards about what a positive experience it was and how people brought different insights. They are now committed to involving people in all future procurements.
Once the preferred bidding group was known, plans were made for strategy and team building workshops as well as launching the new governance and management structures. However this coincided with Covid-19 crisis and no face-to-face meetings took place for the rest of the year.
Despite this restriction, the Alliance Leadership Team formed, with providers of the bidding group and GHIFT and Health and Social Care Partnership members. An Interim Alliance Manager was needed and two people were identified to job share the role.
The new alliance went live in April 2020. The first months were busy with a range of tasks to complete as well as develop the identity, values and brand for the new Alliance.
The contract is for seven years and the annual funding allocation is around £23 million.
Provider members of the Alliance are:
Linda Hutchinson was the delivery partner throughout