Public Social Partnerships: Lessons Learned

Posted in: General News

The guide for Third Sector and Public Sector Service Managers, Commissioners and Procurement Professionals has been updated.

To download and view the PDF document please click the link below.

Public Social Partnerships: Lessons Learned

A Brief Background

Public Social Partnerships (PSP) are a model for the Third Sector to be involved earlier and more deeply in the commissioning and service design process. It is based on the principle of the Third and Public Sectors engaging in co-production to design a new, or re-design a current, service with the goal of delivering better outcomes for citizens.

The PSP model is based on the design and pilot of services before they are competitively tendered by the public authority. Through involvement in such partnerships, multiple Third Sector organisations have the opportunity to engage in and support the commissioning process, and can use this experience to build the capability, capacity and relationships to deliver effective tenders for delivering the service. Ready for Business is currently delivering PSP support as part of the Scottish Government’s Developing Markets for Third Sector Providers Programme.

The RfB website has further useful information on PSPs.

A number of organisations have successfully used the PSP approach with the support of Ready for Business since February 2012. At the time of writing this document, the PSP ‘brand’ is becoming increasingly prominent. Most importantly, PSP has been viewed as a positive experience by those parties who Ready for Business has supported. The programme has led to better ways of working and an increased profile in service delivery for the Third sector. In addition, the Reducing Reoffending Change Fund and Early Years Change Fund have specified the use of the PSP model as a key condition for successful applicants.

It is clear that the PSP model delivers significant benefits for organisations from both the Public Sector and Third Sector. It is nevertheless recognised that creating and sustaining successful partnerships is not without challenge. With the appropriate guidance and understanding of the model however, these challenges are not insurmountable.

This document is a reflection of PSP experiences to date. It aims to share the successes and the challenges experienced. We believe that these will prove highly valuable to those organisations who are currently engaged in a PSP, or to those who are interested in adopting the model.

The Lessons Learned detailed in this document are the product of our experience in delivering support to a range of PSPs. They include:

  • Low Moss Prison – Prisoner Support Pathway
  • Royal Edinburgh Hospital – including Wayfinder Mental Health Rehabilitation Pathway and Greenspace Artspace
  • East Renfrewshire CHCP – Supported Living for adults with learning disabilities
  • SPT – Community Transport in the West of Scotland
  • The Life I Want – Day Opportunities for adults with learning disabilities in Glasgow
  • The Reducing Reoffending Change Fund and Early Years Change Fund PSPs
  • Delivery of a national PSP advice point

This document is intended to be short and easily absorbed with 16 key lessons which those interested or engaged in using the PSP model can practically apply in preparation, planning and delivery.