Tricuro is a local authority trading company wholly owned by Dorset Council and Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council. Launched as a joint venture in July 2015, Tricuro is based in Poole and delivers a range of adult social care and support services that include residential and nursing home provision; day opportunities, community support services, reablement and home care services.
Tricuro has a turnover of c£42M, employs c1600 staff from local communities who provide care and support to over 6000 clients per year across 42 locations and within people’s own homes across the county of Dorset.
The company was established to respond to the key priorities in delivering adult social care services across Dorset, Poole and Bournemouth; help to shape the market and ensure access to quality services that represent value within the market. It was always clear that the company would look at providing services more efficiently to achieve financial savings. The vision was also to attract private income to generate profit which could either be reinvested into the services provided or returned to shareholders.
In Tricuro we call this “profit for purpose” as it is reinvested into the public sector which directly benefits the local community across Dorset. This additional trading has enabled the company to extend its reach to the wider population who may not be eligible for support from the local authorities to help maintain an individual’s independence and wellbeing. This helps the shareholders to manage increasing demands from Dorset’s local communities within financially constrained budgets.
The journey has not been an easy one and has required a substantial change in leadership within the company to ensure the required balance of commercial and business skills complement and enhance the comprehensive knowledge and understanding of delivering adult social care. As an independent trading company, we have established a strong branding, achieved important cultural change, delivered significant savings and efficiencies, commenced trading and introduced some innovative and more efficient ways of working.
Income from private trading has enabled Tricuro to invest in technology and trial innovative ways of supporting our clients and their families. Electronic care planning and monitoring has improved our ability to provide evidence of the quality of care delivered whilst improving efficiency and productivity. Our internal and external reporting and governance arrangements have improved significantly providing assurance to families, the Board, shareholders, commissioners, regulators and key stakeholders.
With Innovation as a core value, Tricuro is committed to embracing the power of technology to ensure that services excel in offering truly person-centred care. Technology enables us to continually improve systems and governance, improving client experiences and engaging the workforce. Developing collaborative partnerships with colleagues across health, the private and community sector has enabled the company to explore innovative new ideas.
We are creating immersive sensory experiences using virtual and augmented reality, exploring audio technology for relaxation, wellbeing and mindfulness.
Tricuro were winners in the Health category of the Smart Cities UK awards in London in January 2019 for its ‘virtual beach’ project which uses virtual reality to offer clients a seaside visit and the chance to surf the waves. The award honoured the behaviour change, education, technology and innovation within the company to overcome economic and social challenges.
In 2019, I was asked to contribute to The Parliamentary Review. Chaired by Lord Pickles, former Conservative Communities Secretary, and Lord Blunkett, former Labour Home Secretary, The Parliamentary Review is a series of independent publications, which aims to share best practice among policy makers and business leaders. Each of its editions focuses on a key governmental policy area, with a variety of organisations sharing personal insight alongside cabinet ministers, government agencies, associations and trade bodies.
The article provides an opportunity to share Tricuro’s journey, the challenges faced nationally with funding for Social Care and the leadership challenges and opportunities. The review also highlights the benefits of creating a Local Authority Trading Company which includes the opportunity to create profit which is re-invested into the services we provide or maintained within the public sector to wider community benefit.
Tricuro’s Board Tricuro is focused on ensuring the company is positioned to deliver against the current and future strategic requirements of its shareholders, playing a major role in meeting the complexity of needs across local communities against increasingly challenged budgets.
Tricuro is in the stage of maturing key partnerships in order to successfully continue to improve existing services and develop new opportunities. Navigating through complex governance arrangements whilst agreeing a strategic direction and delivery plan with our shareholders can be challenging. As a member of the LATCo Network, Tricuro has benefitted from the support, advice and guidance offered by the network from a variety of individuals who demonstrate a comprehensive range of knowledge, experience and understanding of the challenges we face in delivering services within LATC vehicles. We will continue to work with the LATCo Network and make the most of the benefits and wider opportunities it offers.