The Brandon Trust
The Brandon Trust in Bristol provides care and support for people with learning difficulties, both residential and day care. It is a large not-for-profit organisation delivering learning disability care, mainly within Bristol, South Gloucestershire, Bath, NE Somerset and North Somerset. The Trust is in a market where greater efficiency and effectiveness is required by purchasers. The Brandon Trust as a market leader has grown exponentially within the last ten years, taking on an increasing number of care contracts. The Trust measures its performance in the sector against national and international competitors and has worked in partnership with the University of the West of England over several years, in a variety of ways.
- The Trust hosts a range of undergraduate students from the Faculty of Health and Social Care who come on professional placements, from a range of healthcare courses including nursing. This gives the students an opportunity to practise professional skills and the Trust to benefit from the latest best practice techniques.
- Three teams of UWE MBA students have carried out consultancy exercises to examine new market opportunities in social care as part of their studies. This has helped the Trust in making sound decisions. A Trust manager commented on working with the MBA student teams:
"In the event, the process was not only easy from our point of view, it produced information that will make a genuine contribution to the development of this area of our business."
Brandon Trust and UWE collaborate on several jointly funded research projects to develop best practice and new ideas for improved care and innovative services. These have attracted funding support from EU and national bodies.
Continuing Professional Development
Many of the Trust's management team have attended the Bristol Business School for management and leadership training both at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
A senior academic consultant has facilitated the Trust Board, to develop strategy. A consultancy report has also been provided to the Board and senior executive on organisational structure.
Knowledge Transfer Partnership - UWE and the Brandon Trust
The fast growth of the Brandon Trust ( now 50 sites) necessitates new and improved systems to monitor experience and activities in real time to improve information flows for efficiency and risk management. A Knowledge Transfer Partnership with UWE will introduce new business and information systems to aid performance against self-generated measurements. In developing its expertise, Brandon will become a beacon of best practice for cost management in the sector, with important beneficial consequences for numerous organisations.
Using MBA and Masters students, the University of the West of England conducted a QuickMark report for the Brandon Trust to show whether or not a new market idea would be likely to succeed. Commenting on the QuickMark report, Nick Fripp of the Brandon Trust said:"QuickMark identified strategic issues which will prompt our development of strategic responses. This will enable us to manage our risk more effectively." QuickMark is a UWE project that offered rapid assessments of the potential of new business ideas.
Two senior members of UWE staff have now taken up invitations to serve on the Trust Board.