WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY
Alexander has given us the tools, the confidence to use them and helped us to challenge the world as we saw it. They understood the context of the organisation and provided a bespoke approach rather than just sheep dip and as the needs of the organisation evolved they had the flexibility to accommodate our growing needs.
Vicky Branchett - Director for Commissioning Support, Essex County Council
We worked with Alexander on understanding some challenging issues in the South West, around how the public service system, as a whole, cares for people who find themselves in crisis. It is not easy to sustain a broad network of busy, senior people from many organisations who need to ‘stay on task’ when addressing tricky problems that involve the whole public service system; and who need to see a clear return on their investment in time. Alexander’s systematic and careful approach both to process and to understanding and balancing the needs of network members helped greatly in our delivering outcomes of real value to network members, to their organisations and to people who rely on their services.
Justine Faulkner – Manager Mental Health, Neurological Conditions and Dementia Network, South West Strategic Clinical Network
Alexander have worked with us on the Devon MH crisis pathway over the past year, in the context of Devon’s response to the requirements of the MH Crisis Concordat. It was therefore work undertaken by the whole Devon public service system, sponsored by us. They provided much valued focus, method, enthusiasm, expertise and energy in a system that needed all those things. They showed us how to get things done from first principles. They built a simple and clear approach in which everyone had a stake. They helped us build a robust and practical improvement plan that was built on knowledge of what was actually happening. They consulted throughout the Devon system to a fault, so that leaders and doers from all organisations felt equally well informed and influential. Crucially they went the extra mile to ensure that the people of Devon – those with lived experience of MH Crisis – were not only welcomed into the process but shaped what we set out to achieve and the way that we did the work. We have consequently achieved more in the past year than most would have thought possible. Finally, they brought some humour and sensitivity to the work that made it both enjoyable and obviously productive: people saw things changing and saw the part that they had played in that change. We’d be very happy to work with Alexander again.
Gavin Thistlethwaite, Joint Commissioning Manager – Mental Health, Devon County Council and NEW Devon CCG; Paul O’Sullivan, Managing Director Partnerships, NEW Devon CCG
“Alexander worked with the Board over the period that the Trust was in Special Measures. Keith Pople helped us with one of the most difficult tasks that a Board can face – leading an organisation out of severe difficulty, while coping with many personnel changes in the Board, while developing itself towards becoming a high performing unitary team. Keith brought three skills to the task. Firstly, a clear view of how teams develop towards excellence – the things they need to do to support and challenge one another while building technical competence and confidence. Secondly, clear and firm challenge around what an NHS Board has to do well to succeed in a highly complex and rapidly evolving public service system. Finally, an ability to re-plan and re-orientate so that everything we did together answered to swiftly changing circumstances, rather than to what we had already planned. We benefited greatly from Keith’s support. We enjoyed working with him. He encouraged us to be circumspect and forward looking at a time when it would been easy to be introspective. We’d be happy to work with Alexander and Keith again. We came out of Special Measures.”
Mark Waller, Chair. Richard Beeken, Chief Executive. November 2016.
“Alexander worked with the Council’s Senior Management Team over 3 months to refine and articulate our strategy in response to the pressures faced by all public sector organisations in 2016. Keith Pople helped us engage a broad range of partners who had an interest in what we do; to describe clearly – and in detail – where we wanted to go; to examine and understand the opportunities as well as the threats; and, finally, to develop a set of high level objectives and financial targets allocated to workstreams and individuals. We found the work interesting and stimulating. Alexander introduced us to – or reminded us of – the tenets of demand management and performance improvement. The way in which we worked together helped us to build competence and competence as leaders; to own, and commit to, the work; and to build the team. We’d be happy to work with Alexander again.”
Malcolm Johnston and Tony Leonard, Joint Executive Directors Rother District Council. January 2017.
“Alexander recently worked with our two Forces – and more than 20 other public-sector organisations – on a single jointly commissioned improvement project that required care, preparation and assiduous attention to effective engagement. Keith Pople and Steve McLauchlan guided us through a process of understanding what was actually happening; effectively listening to people who used services; redesigning the system to remove waste and to improve the experience of both citizens and professionals; testing the new design; and planning for implementation. Alexander’s skill and experience in this complex, whole system work was most impressive. They understand both how public service systems fit together and also the key characteristics of the various parts – blue light organisations, councils, NHS Trusts and so on. They helped us move from a position of not really knowing what was happening, to a position where we knew where we wanted to go and how to get there. We’d be pleased to work with Alexander again.”
Superintendent Geoff Wessell, Avon and Somerset Constabulary; Superintendent Phil Staynings, Wiltshire Police. October 2017
“Our Trust strategy makes it clear that we had to achieve and sustain clinical and financial sustainability. To achieve this we knew that our staff had to truly be empowered to develop visions and implementation plans for their own services. Alexander’s support has been instrumental in building the focus, knowledge and confidence that teams needed. We have been very pleased with the outputs which have strengthened the operational fabric of the Trust and the coherence and resilience of our working teams.” .
Alison Diamond, Medical Director (now Chief Executive) North Devon Healthcare NHS Trust
“Last year, the Council faced a difficult decision on what its preferred option should be in a matter that had profound consequences for partners in the Devon public service system. Alexander helped us design and implement a consultative decision making process that led to a fully informed and intelligent decision supported across the Council and accepted by our public service partners. Alexander’s structured, focussed and thoughtful approach, combined with their firm challenge and determination, was a key component of this success.”
Jennie Stephens, Strategic Director People, Devon County Council
“We have been able to benefit from a pool of highly competent consultants and associates. They are all signed up to Alexander’s philosophy, which has meant that we have not had to spend time aligning providers with our programme aims – they are already on board and we are able to establish working relationships very quickly and effectively. Alexander proved able to meet our needs flexibly and responsively.” .
Greta Irving, Organisation Development Manager, Braintree District Council
“The support from Alexander [and their partners] has enabled us to deliver the project on time, with pace and focus. The whole focus has been on improving quality for service users and this has enabled people to accept change and see the benefits of the project. The team have worked hard to build relationships with all stakeholders and have been generous in knowledge transfer so that the internal team develop confidence and capability in effectively facilitating process transformation once the contract ends.”.
Karen Barnett, Assistant Director Service Improvement, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust