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This template sets out a suggested format for a strategy document, together with a checklist for the content of the strategy itself.

Individual strategy documents may vary, to take account of particular requirements or planning situations. The checklist may still
provide planning groups with a useful tool to ensure that their strategy is able to be read consistently with others developed by the
Care Trust, and that it provides a robust framework for evaluation, review, and learning.

The template is designed to be relevant both to frontline services (eg a strategy for improving services within a carestream) and
support services (eg IT, workforce development, etc). It assumes that the Care Trust is the lead organisation in developing the
strategy for a given area (referred to as ‘XYZ’), but that other stakeholders are involved in the development process.

Key points to consider:
1. Use plain English, and avoid jargon wherever possible. Where it is unavoidable, give the full meaning of any abbreviations the
   first time they are used and include a glossary with the meanings of any technical terms and/or abbreviations at the end of the
2. The numbering system in this template is a guide only. Depending on the amount of detail in each s ection, you may want to
   use numbered sub-sections as appropriate (eg 1.1 Status of this document, 1.2 The scope of this strategy, etc) . This helps
   people to navigate through the document more easily.
3. Data presented in the form of charts, graphs, diagrams etc should normally be numbered for ease of reference. It is often
   clearer to put charts etc in the body of the document, but if they are large or very complex they can be put at the end as an
4. Other supporting material (such as sections of policy documents etc) can be appended, but unless they need to be referred to
   frequently by everyone using the document, it may be better to include a reference to them rather than the actual material.
5. Include a list of references at the end, including any other document which has been mentioned in the text.
6. Most importantly, keep in mind that a strategy document is not an end in itself. The strategy it describes is a vision for
   improving services, and it is how it is translated into action that is the real measure of its success. The document provides an
   ongoing reminder of what you have set out to do, and should be used as a working tool to help, not hinder, progress. It is very
   unlikely that everything will go exactly as planned in the strategy, so be prepared to review and revise it over time.
Northumberland Care Trust
Strategy Template
October 2002

Northumberland Care Trust
Strategy Template
October 2002

SECTION       TITLE          CONTENT                        CHECKLIST
1.            Introduction   Status of this document         Is this a draft strategy for consultation or a finished version?

                             The scope of the strategy       What does this strategy cover (eg mental health services for
                                                              working age adults?) – this is referred to as XYZ in the sections
                                                             What does it not cover (eg children, older people)

                             The overall aim of the          An outline of what you are trying to achieve (eg solving a problem
                             strategy                         with XYZ, improving XYZ services, introducing services to a new
                                                              area, reorganising services, etc)

                             The timescale of the            What is the target date for achieving this strategy (most often 3
                             strategy                         years, as assumed here, but may be 5 years or another period)

                             Constraints on this strategy    Does this strategy need to be co-ordinated with others outside
                                                              Northumberland? (eg SHA or regional networks)

                             The development process         Who is leading on the development of this strategy (eg Director/
                                                              PEC lead/ network manager for a carestream)?
                                                             Who else is involved?
                                                             What work has taken place to date on the development of the
                                                             Specifically, how have service users, carers, and staff been
                                                              consulted and involved?

2.            Stakeholder    Analysis of who the             Who are the stakeholders in XYZ? (internal and external groups)
              analysis       stakeholders are, and their     To what extent are all these stakeholders currently engaged?
                             needs/ expectations in          What evidence do we have for how XYZ is perceived by each
                             relation to the strategy         group of stakeholders, and what their needs/ expectations/
                                                              priorities are?
                                                             How will we tackle gaps in the existing information we have about
                                                              stakeholders as part of this strategy?

Northumberland Care Trust
Strategy Template
October 2002
SECTION       TITLE              CONTENT                     CHECKLIST
3.            Strategic vision   A statement of the vision    What, in overall terms, will success look like? (This can be a
              and values         for XYZ in the future         qualitative description of the long term vision for XYZ– the
                                                               quantitative data which will help assess how far this has been
                                                               achieved in 3 years will be set out in sections below)

                                 The values which are         What are the core values on which this strategy is based, and
                                 central to this strategy      which will inform all the actions which are planned as a result?

4.            The current        Purpose and objectives       What is the purpose of XYZ/ why does it exist at all?
              position (Where                                 What are the objectives of XYZ?
              are we now?)
                                 Policy context               What current policy is there which affects XYZ? What does it
                                                               say? (NB this may include both directly relevant policy, eg an
                                                               NSF or other NHS/ social care policy, or policy in other areas with
                                                               an impact on XYZ – eg housing, education, employment,
                                                               benefits, etc)

                                 Current dimensions           How many current users/ patients/ clients are there for XYZ?
                                                               What are the significant segments within the overall user base?
                                                               Is there an assessment of unmet demand?
                                                              What services are currently provided in XYZ and by whom?
                                                              What financial data is there on XYZ (eg total spend, breakdown
                                                               by localities, recent investment levels, sources of external

                                 Current performance          What evidence is there of the outcomes achieved in XYZ at
                                                               present (Note: this should link to the key performance results
                                                               identified below, where possible)?
                                                              Are trends over time positive or negative?
                                                              How does the Care Trust compare with other organisations now?
                                                              What changes are already in progress in XYZ, and how might
                                                               they affect the key performance results? (eg a new service
                                                               development coming on stream in year 1 of the strategy)

Northumberland Care Trust
Strategy Template
October 2002
SECTION       TITLE         CONTENT                CHECKLIST
                            Workforce analysis      How many people are involved in delivering XYZ? How is this
                                                     overall number made up (eg by locality, profession, provider,
                                                    What is the current position on vacancies/ turnover/ training
                                                     places etc?
                                                    What training is currently provided and to whom? Does this
                                                     include all relevant providers eg voluntary/ independent sector?

                            Information analysis    What sources of information on XYZ are used currently?
                                                    How are new ideas and learning about XYZ gathered, analysed
                                                     and used?

                            Process analysis        What are the key processes through which XYZ is delivered?
                                                    Do we know how these processes work and therefore how
                                                     changes in one part of the process can result in a change in the
                                                     results achieved?

Northumberland Care Trust
Strategy Template
October 2002
SECTION       TITLE         CONTENT                          CHECKLIST
5.            Strategic     Where do we want the              What are the key performance results we want to have achieved
              objectives    Care Trust to be in 3 years’       in 3 years’ time, based on what we know about stakeholders’
                            time?                              needs and expectations, which will demonstrate that we have
                                                               moved towards achieving the vision for XYZ?
                                                              Is this strategy aimed at achieving externally set targets (eg those
                                                               in a National Service Framework) or do you want to have made
                                                               other/ further improvements to meet local priorities?
                                                               The key performance results should be expressed as specifically
                                                               as possible in terms of measurable outcomes eg
                                                                A maximum waiting time of X hours for an appointment with a
                                                                   specialist nurse in primary care
                                                                an emergency readmission rate of X%
                                                                100% of practice managers competent in using Z as part of
                                                                   their IT system
                                                                Q% of service users very satisfied with this service
                                                                external funding of £R per year achieved
                                                                three star rating for this service from CHI
                                                              What are the relevant operational indicators (internal measures
                                                               which have an effect on outcomes?). For example, if one key
                                                               performance result is the waiting time for a service, how many
                                                               staff currently perform this service and what are the vacancy/
                                                               staff turnover rates for them?
                                                              How will the Care Trust compare with other organisations?

                            Information implications of       Do we need to collect different information/ information in a
                            strategic objectives               different form to enable us to measure the key performance

                            Evidence that achieving           How will these results contribute to the overall performance of the
                            these strategic objectives         Care Trust?
                            will contribute to the overall
                            objectives of the Care
                            Trust as expressed in its
                            mission, vision and values

Northumberland Care Trust
Strategy Template
October 2002
SECTION       TITLE              CONTENT                    CHECKLIST
6.            Priorities for     The main areas where        What gaps have been identified in the current situation that need
              strategic change   change is needed to          to be filled (including stakeholder involvement, information, etc)?
                                 enable us to achieve our    What options have been considered for strategic change and on
                                 strategic objectives         what basis have the decisions been made on which to progress?
                                                              Strategic change will involve changes to the existing key
                                                              processes identified above (and if these are not well understood
                                                              then the starting point will be work to identify and define them), or
                                                              developing new processes to deliver a specific outcome
                                                              Process change should aim to deliver agreed, improved
                                                              outcomes and should involve all relevant stakeholders (both
                                                              internal and external)
                                                              Changing existing key processes or developing new ones may
                                                              involve changes in any or all of:
                                                               The workforce (eg staffing numbers and/or roles, training,
                                                                  public/ community involvement, communications)
                                                               The partnerships the Care Trust has with other organisations
                                                               How resources are used (including information, technology,
                                                                  equipment, estates)
                                                               The funding available and/or how this is deployed
                                                               Care Trust policy and/or other strategies which affect XYZ
                                                             What is the timescale for each of the changes above? (in outline,
                                                              ie in which year of the strategy will work take place?)
                                                             Who will lead on each change area?
                                                             How do we expect the key performance outcomes and
                                                              operational indicators to change each year as changes are

                                                            Note: this section should NOT include detailed actions to achieve
                                                            each of the changes identified. The strategy should set out a broad
                                                            ‘agenda for change’, rather than the detail of how it will be delivered.
                                                            However, in many cases a new strategy will be accompanied by an
                                                            action plan for Year 1 and this is discussed in Appendix A below.

Northumberland Care Trust
Strategy Template
October 2002
SECTION       TITLE              CONTENT                       CHECKLIST
7.            Workforce issues   The impact of the strategic    Section 6 should include workforce implications of each change –
                                 changes on the XYZ              this section brings these individual changes together
                                 workforce                      What will be the overall impact of the strategy on workforce, eg
                                                                  What skills are required and can how these be provided (eg
                                                                     which professional(s) can best provide these?)
                                                                  What training/ skills development is needed to achieve the
                                                                     strategy and how will this be addressed?
                                                                  What are the workforce issues for voluntary and independent
                                                                     sector organisations and how will these be addressed?
                                                                  What work is required with other stakeholders eg Workforce
                                                                     Development Confederation, Modernisation Agency, local
                                                                     education providers, etc and how will this be done?

8.            Evaluation,        How progress will be           Plan for how stakeholder groups will be involved in ongoing
              learning and       measured, and the               evaluation and review of the strategy throughout its life.
              review             strategic objectives           Arrangements for measuring performance over the lifetime of the
                                 reviewed, with                  strategy, and reviewing the strategic objectives
                                 stakeholders’ involvement      Arrangements for developing action plans to maintain progress
                                                                 against the key performance results and/or take corrective action
                                                                 where performance is below expected levels
                                                                Arrangements for gathering and using innovation and learning
                                                                 (internal and external) to inform the strategy

9.            Communication      How this strategy will be      Plan for communicating the content of the strategy, and ongoing
              plan               communicated to all             progress, to all stakeholder groups (taking into account differing
                                 stakeholders                    needs/ expectations/ levels of involvement)

10.           Contact                                           Who is the contact person for queries/ suggestions/ comments?
              information                                       Is there a deadline for comments on this document? (eg if it is a
                                                                 draft for consultation)

Northumberland Care Trust
Strategy Template
October 2002
SECTION       TITLE             CONTENT                        CHECKLIST
Appendix      Year 1 action     Action to be taken in year 1    Detailed plans for actions to be implemented in year 1 to achieve
A             plan              towards the achievement            the planned changes in key performance results/ operational
                                of the strategic objectives        indicators
                                                                This should show, for each action point:
                                                                    The resource implications (staffing, information, physical
                                                                       resources, technology, finance)
                                                                    Who is responsible for delivering each action point
                                                                    When it will be completed
                                                                    Which key performance result(s) it is targeted at
              Year 2/3 action   Future years’ action plans will be developed as a result of
              plans              analysing key performance results and operational indicators, and setting appropriate targets
                                   for these in the year to come
                                 assessing changes in the external environment affecting XYZ (eg new national targets, or
                                   changes in other health and social care organisations)
                                 analysing innovation and learning relevant to XYZ
                                 reviewing how this strategy fits with the Care Trust’s overall direction

Lucy O’Leary
11 October, 2002


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