An LATC jointly owned by Bournemouth Borough Council, Borough of Poole and Dorset County Council

Launched July 2015 – the total budget spend for the services in scope was £40m with over 1,200 FTE staff


ricuro Ltd is the first adult social care LATC to be jointly owned by 3 neighbouring councils in the UK. It will have a total annual turnover of over £40m it will provide services from over 50 different locations and will employ over 1,200 FTE posts who will deliver over 10 different social care services to the residents of Dorset and its neighbouring authorities. It will also be the largest social care LATC in the country.

The journey for this remarkable organisation started in November 2013 when Dorset County Council (DCC) commissioned an experienced LATC consultancy, Care and Health Solutions Ltd (CHS) to write an Options Appraisal including a high level Viability Study for the future of their in-house adult social care (ASC) services. While this report was being compiled over a 3-month period, DCC, through the joint “Better Together Programme” informed Bournemouth Borough Council (BBC) and Borough of Poole (BoP) about the possible collaboration opportunities for their adult social care services through new delivery vehicles.

In April 2014, the Members of DCC approved the recommendation of the Options Appraisal to commission a Full Business Case to evaluate the benefits and costs of transferring ASC services into an LATC, solely owned by DCC.

Meanwhile BBC Officers had commissioned their own Options Appraisal for their ASC services and were waiting for recommendations and a clear way forward to be presented to them in June 2014. Again, thoughts and aspirations were shared through the Better Together Programme and in June BoP recognised that the future of their Day Services (two) and one Employment Service, while not large enough to be viable as a single entity, could thrive and flourish in a larger ASC organisation.

Two completed Options Appraisals and three Business Cases later, all three authorities had reached the same conclusion, which was that for their particular circumstances and aspirations, a LATC model was the best sustainable opportunity for their services. The one remaining question to be answered was:

  • Should there be one LATC in the Dorset region or two?

This single question raised many issues that needed to be thought through and resolved these included:

  • Would the services be financially more secure and efficient together in one organisation or separate in two?
  • How would a single organisation be controlled and managed?
  • Who would own the organisation?

To answer these questions and many others the three authorities, through the Better Together Programme agreed to commission CHS to produce the following:

  • A Business Case to evaluate the costs and net benefits of all the services transferring into one LATC
  • A comparison with the aggregated net benefits from the single LATC business cases
  • Internal and external governance structures including executive roles within the LATC and external shareholder arrangements
  • A recommendation and a timeline for completion of the most financially sustainable and rewarding option

The recommended structure for the three sets of services from the three authorities was a jointly-owned single LATC that would go-live on 1st July 2015.

This recommendation was ratified by each of the three separate authorities in late January 2015, leaving 5 months for the implementation and completion.

The first tasks to be completed by the Better Together programme and project team of 10 including CHS were to develop the documents below for the three sets of Members to agree on:

  • Heads of Terms of the Shareholder Agreement
  • The members and terms of reference for the Implementation Board
  • The members and terms of reference for the interim Executive Shareholder Group
  • The terms of reference of the permanent Executive Shareholder Group

The Shareholder Agreement is the document that details how the three authorities own the LATC and they manage any changes within the shareholding.

The Implementation Board was the delegated decision-making body that oversaw the project from start to finish and that was attended by officers from all three authorities, project managers and consultants.

The Interim Executive Shareholder Group represented the views and aspirations of Members across the three authorities. This group played a large part in deciding important issues such as the name and the branding of the LATC and the location of its head office.

The permanent Executive Shareholder Group will represent the three authorities as shareholders and will shape the strategic direction and overall objectives of the LATC as well scrutinise financial and service performance on a regular basis.

Once the fundamentals of the project were established the delivery of the LATC could take place. This was a very significant project involving the delivery of the following:

  • The naming and branding of the new company
  • The creation of a new website and 1,000 email addresses
  • The selection and establishment of a new head office
  • Occupancy agreements for over 50 locations
  • TUPE consultation with over 1,500 staff
  • Consultation with service users and carers across 11 different services in over 50 locations
  • The drafting and agreeing of an integrated service contract including specifications for each service for three sets of commissioners
  • The design and implementation of one financial reporting and budgeting system
  • The provision ICT networks across all services

The above achievements and many others were completed within the allotted timeframes and Tricuro Ltd was launched on time and in the best possible place for it to thrive and grow.