Welcome to NAVCA’s resource bank on embedding the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector into integrated care systems (ICS). We have collected a range of example documents and case studies that can serve as a guide to help systems to develop their policies, procedures and practice.
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This is one of two pages that contain Integrated Care Resources. For representation roles, sustainable investment for VCSE Alliances, harnessing data and intelligence, and working with VCSE sector to address wider determinants of health, click here.
The VCSE sector plays an important role in improving health and wellbeing through:
• direct delivery of support and services to people and communities.
• promotion of health and wellbeing in the widest sense, recognising the wider determinants of health, focusing on early intervention and prevention.
• specialising in working with people with specific health conditions, complex needs or other life circumstances that affect their health and wellbeing.
• its expertise in service design, co-production and impact measurement.
• gathering insight from being embedded in communities and having links within and across communities of place and interest.
• holding trusted relationships with seldom heard groups.
• engaging people and communities, amplifying their voice and bringing intelligence and information forward.
• provision of community assets like physical spaces, equipment, vehicles etc.
Understanding the full value of the VCSE sector in improving health and wellbeing, and harnessing it within ICSs alongside the NHS and local government, will help create the personalised, holistic, community-based and preventative health and care system envisaged in the Health and Care Act (2022).
Greater Manchester Alternative Provider Federation– with short public-facing video explaining how the VCSE contributes to health and care, and their shared principles.
Report summarising the scale and scope of the Black Country VCSE; and its approach to maximise sector involvement across the health and care landscape
Independent report establishing the case for VCSE involvement in health and care covering two Yorkshire ICS areas.
Independent study to improve understanding of the structure, dynamics and economic and social value of the regional VCSE sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
Independent study to improve understanding of the structure, dynamics and economic and social value of the regional VCSE sector across two Yorkshire ICS areas
Video recording – what we all need to do to embrace the changes to integrated care, and what behaviours are needed to make this a truly equitable partnership (20 minutes)
Here are some example business cases that ICB colleagues have used to make the case internally for investing in the VCSE alliance. They all include the appointment of an alliance director staff position, yet they have taken different approaches to additional costs to be supported, for example infrastructure and communications costs.
Here are a range of documents that relate to the structure of VCSE alliances in integrated care systems. It is important that each system develops its own structure that is relevant in that area, and builds on existing networks, forums and representation structures where possible.
This agreement outlines the structure of the VCSE alliance, how the alliance links to place, membership types, representation lines and operating principles:
North East & North Cumbria
Terms of reference for alliance leadership group, Humber & North Yorkshire
VCSE partnership steering group terms of reference, North East & North Cumbria
This section contains job and role descriptions for VCSE alliance director, programme manager and support roles, and alliance chair.
VCSE programme director, Humber & North Yorkshire – where the alliance is embedded in the ICS, not an independent entity
Programme Manager: Harnessing the Power of Communities (dedicated programme of VCSE engagement and service delivery), West Yorkshire
Ensuring the VCSE sector has effective and accountable representation, strategic leadership and equality is important. Without a seat at the table, it is difficult to raise issues and develop solutions together to bring about change. But it is not just about having a seat at the table, it is about contributing and participating fully as decision makers and equal partners.
Harnessing the Power of Communities programme (website): West Yorkshire was an early adopter of the concept of integrating the VCSE into their emerging health and care system. They established a dedicated programme of engagement and service delivery for the VCSE sector, with dedicated staff.
Greater Manchester VCSE Leadership Group, covering a wide range of areas, not just health, as an interface between the sector and the GM Combined Authority and ICS.
Strategy for embedding voluntary and community action in the health and care system to address health inequalities – Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster (place)
Whilst every ICS area will have its own needs, a cross-sector partnership agreement will typically define:
· jointly agreed vision, values and mission
· principles for joint working
· accountability, representation and leadership structures
· processes for avoiding, managing and resolving conflict
· how and when the agreement will be reviewed.
These agreements are typically in the format of a ‘compact’ and are not legally binding agreements. They are sometimes called a ‘memorandum of understanding’ (MoU).
Coming together to sign their MoU (video), West Yorkshire
Below are different types of partnership agreements, which depend on the model of the VCSE alliance. Some are more high-level, outlining vision, values, intent and direction of travel, whereas others provide more detail in how the partnership will work in practice.
In Devon, where the VCSE alliance is part of the integrated care system, not an independent entity, the ICB has a contract with a local infrastructure organisation to deliver the VCSE assembly.
It is a natural inclination to want to get into the detail of how a partnership will work. However, experience has shown that taking time to go the groundwork of working through vision, values and mission, is vitally important. It must not be assumed that these are already shared.
It is essential to develop a shared understanding of ‘why are we here?’ and ‘where we are heading?’
Sharing values helps people understand how and why they view things the way they do. This understanding can help develop relationships, dictate what or how information may need to be presented and play to the strengths of each partner in the room.
It is important for all partners to own, adopt and live these agreements and to revisit them periodically to ensure they hold true.
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