Chaired by Lord Victor Adebowale, this event considered themes from our recent engagement with people across the country who are working to maximise the potential of the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations in Provider Collaboratives.
We were joined by a panel of special guests who shared learning and insights from their own work and along with attendees, helped us to explore some key questions that have emerged, such as, ‘How can we elevate the role of the VCSE from a transactional relationship with Provider Collaboratives to a transformational partnership of equals?'
Attendees' involvement in the event will also help to inform a final report and set of ideas for actions that will be shared to support effective involvement of VCSE partners in the work of Provider Collaboratives.
The themes emerging from our research in this area include:
- The value of strategic partnerships - The importance of recognising the potential of VCSE organisations as transformational strategic partners within provider collaboratives and how to recognise VCSE organisations as ‘integral to’ - rather than alongside or downstream.
- The provider landscape – VCSE organisations are often most active as providers at Place level in response to local need, thought needs to be given as to how to maximise their value and impact across bigger provider collaborative footprints.
- An evolving picture – it is still early days in the formation and development of many provider collaboratives. Engaging VCSE organisations as early as possible will help establish them as key players and part of the solution.
- Sustainability and funding - Funding models need to build sustainability and capacity and shift away from driving short form business planning.
- Opportunity - VCSE organisations provide creativity, agility and innovation bringing expertise, energy and positivity to the table as well as other resources.
A consistent theme that emerged from the discussions was ensuring that the sector and the value it provides is recognised through appropriate investment in the sector. Much of the value that is brought s through strategic input, which is less commonly recognised financially than through service provision, this is key because organisations cant survive without being funded.
We heard from organisations that have brought together VCSE organisations within their locality, to represent them at regional level and argue for more market share, policy and strategic influence. Batting back national organisations who want to join. There were examples of ICBs funding the organisations and recognising them.
There was discussion of the benefits of collaboratives still being at an early stage in development and how this provides opportunity for the VCSE sector to shape their development where they are round the table and to take a strategic view of how they can benefit VCSE sector down the line.
To summarise, key themes identified from the session include:
- Consistency of approach across collaboratives
- Distinction between investment and procurement
- The role of the VCSE sector in the immediate challenges and pressures facing the NHS
Presentation slides are available separately by clicking this link.
For more information contact:
- Victoria.Binks@nhsconfed.org, Assistant Director North east and Yorkshire and Lead for Provider Collaboration
- Chris.Caulton@nhsconfed.org, Senior Policy and Delivery Manager – Provider Collaboration and Place