All over the UK, local NHS organisations have joined forces with local councils. In Coventry we are now part of the Coventry & Warwickshire Integrated Care System. The concept aims to improve sharing knowledge and pooling resources whilst improving health and care. The focus is on helping everyone lead healthier and happier lives. More information about the approach can be found https://www.happyhealthylives.uk/
VAC and WCAVA are working with colleagues in the system to ensure that the role of the VCSE and their reach and understanding of less heard communities is recognised. We want to ensure that the VCSE is included across the system and at place level. Coventry is regarded as a ‘place’ within the new structure. The overarching mechanism in the system is the Integrated Care Board which does not include VCSE representation.
The ICP (Integrated Care Partnership) has a wider membership and aims to drive the strategic direction and plans for integration. There are VCSE representatives on the ICP, currently Steven Hill, CEO at Coventry & Warwickshire Mind and Karen Winchcombe, CEO at Warwickshire and Solihull Community And Voluntary Action.
For more information about the VCSE and ICS take a look at the ICS implementation guidance on partnerships with the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/B0905-vcse-and-ics-partnerships.pdf
This guidance is for health and care leaders from all organisations in ICSs that are developing partnerships across local government, health, housing, social care and the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector.
The ICS design framework sets the expectation that integrated care board (ICB) governance and decision-making arrangements support close working with the VCSE sector as a strategic partner in shaping, improving and delivering services, and developing and delivering plans to tackle the wider determinants of health.
This guidance provides more detail on how to embed VCSE sector partnerships in ICSs.
• The VCSE sector is a key strategic partner with an important contribution to make in shaping, improving and delivering services, and developing and implementing plans to tackle the wider determinants of health
• VCSE partnership should be embedded in how the ICS operates, including through involvement in governance structures in population health management and service redesign work, and in system workforce, leadership and organisational development plans. https://www.healthinnowest.net/our-work/supporting-the-vcfse-sector/
ICS one year on
There has been significant development in other areas of the country around the VCSE/ICB interface, this link shows what has been happening in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and West Berkshire (BOB) Event Summary of the Summer Meeting 2023 – BOB Health Alliance (healthalliancebob.org.uk)