Models of partnership working
The partnership models developed in each area differed in structure, but all had some shared elements:
- creation of a voluntary sector leadership group or alliance (a group made up of voluntary organisations aiming to be a broker for the wider sector and a single point of contact for NHS colleagues)
- voluntary sector representation on public sector or cross-sector groups including the STP/ICS board
- a mechanism for two-way engagement with the wider voluntary sector and wider partners and structures
- a process for feedback to the wider sector.
These models provide a template for creating a clear, consistent and validated approach, maximising engagement, outcomes and impact across the geographical footprint of the ICS.
Model: West Yorkshire and Harrogate
Model: Lancashire and South Cumbria
Lancashire and South Cumbria had a disjointed array of forums and engagement processes. With the increasing strategic role of the voluntary sector, there was a need to clarify and strengthen lines of accountability and channels of communication.
The establishment of voluntary sector leadership groups in each of five integrated care partnership (ICP) areas, each chaired by an elected representative, is creating a co-produced mechanism for transparent representation and voice.
Representatives of each of the five ICPs and other voluntary organisations across the STP area are included in the VCFS Leadership Alliance.
- A single point of contact for public sector leaders and partners into the sector
- An agreed process for election of reps, ensuring transparency and accountability as well as support and back-up for the representative themselves.
The voluntary, community and faith sector (VCFS) leadership groups provide a useful route of contact and engagement with the sector.