Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust

Knowledge and Legal Advice Centre

Briefly describe the initiative/ project/ service

Following the Carter Review, the Trust looked at ways to reduce costs and increase efficiency in legal expenditure.
KnowLA aimed to:

• reduce spend on legal advice (by £25k year 1);
• reduce unnecessary replication/repetition of advice;
• speed up solutions to legal issues and share knowledge and best practice;
• free up clinicians’ time by providing quick and easy access to a repository of advice.

The knowledge centre collates and centralises legal advice and knowledge on subjects ranging from procurement and HR to mental health law.

The ambition was to help managers access the information they need at the touch of a button.

KnowLA currently has pieces of advice on its database covering 7 main areas:

• Corporate finance and procurement;
• Contracts and commercial;
• Employment;
• Healthcare law;
• Information governance;
• Mental health legislation;
• Property law.

Monitoring and feedback reports demonstrate the system is already having an effect in improving the speed of decision making and freeing up valuable time for managers and clinicians.

Why do you think it should win this award?

By reducing duplication and time taken to address issues and make decisions, it is allowing more time to be spent on patient care as well as enabling issues involving patients to be dealt with quicker.

As well as enabling staff to add to the system with new guidance they have received, KnowLA also has safeguards built in to adapt to changing legal principles, practice and case law.

What are the key achievements?

The following are the most significant results that KnowLA will deliver:
• It is anticipated in its first year of operation that KnowLA will enable the Trust to cut 10% from its annual legal services budget.
• Reduction in need to seek legal advice through improved consultation with internal colleagues and sharing of existing knowledge;
• Improved access/sharing of best practice resulting in more efficient use of people’s time;
• Improved controls around obtaining legal advice to ensure that solicitors are only used when necessary and the right questions are asked so that valuable advice is obtained and ineffective use of solicitors is reduced introducing consistency and standardisation in handling legal matters.
• KnowLA can be accessed by all staff across the organisation..
• Other organisations in the Lancashire and South Cumbria STP footprint are now interested in applying KnowLA in their organisations.
• KnowLA has the potential be used throughout the NHS and beyond and to test out the appetite for this, KnowLA has been accepted as an innovation on the Adoption Accelerator programme hosted by the NHS Innovation Agency.

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