Peer support

Helping system partners forge new collaborative relationships, build shared understanding and agree next steps.
Seated group of delegates talking intently

The NHS Confederation, our ICS Network and NHS Clinical Commissioners have teamed up with the Local Government Association and NHS Providers to offer a range of free, bespoke support for local health and care systems. 

Our aim is for local partners to forge new collaborative partnerships, build shared understanding and agree their collective next step.

What is the peer support offer?

Building on two successful phases of the offer, we are offering a menu of peer support tailored to the needs of your local partnership. This includes one-to-one peer mentoring, peer-facilitated workshops and peer reviews (all of which can take place online). Requests for peer-led support can be made and delivered at any level, whether that be system, place or locality. 

Why choose us?

Jointly, our organisations bring together expertise from providers of NHS care, local authorities and local commissioners, making us uniquely qualified and equipped to help you build effective relationships across organisational boundaries. We offer a time-efficient way of learning from others who have solved similar challenges, and practical support in turning aspirational plans into reality. 

What can we help you achieve?

  • Progress partnership working at system, place and neighbourhood level through developing shared purpose, priorities, capabilities and governance arrangements.
  • Create a compelling narrative that sets out a shared vision with aligned priorities and commitment by all system partners to achieve better outcomes, building a case for further integration.
  • Identify and agree joint plans which may include how to share resources, explore new models of care or adopt an assets-based approach to service design and delivery which understands the local population need and resources.
  • Address the wider determinants of health, creating the opportunities for health improvement, tackling health inequalities and promoting prevention.
  • Successfully navigate legislative, performance and regulatory changes and challenges, as well as embedding gains made during COVID-19.

Click on the links below to find out more about each aspect of the offer and how we could help your local system.


  • Our peer support workshops will enable you to identify where you are now and what more you need to do to escalate the scale and pace of integration. Our approach can be adapted to work with a range of complex situations, across diverse organisational structures or multiple planning and commissioning footprints. 

    Peer-facilitated workshops

    Our integration workshops have been specifically designed based on feedback from system leaders. They are facilitated by experienced senior peers from health and local government who will tailor the session to reflect the place-based context and needs of the audience. 

    We offer a range of workshops to suit your needs, including: 

    Pause and reflect: Interactive virtual workshops that build on the incredible collaborations we have seen through COVID-19 and shape a system that is better able to serve people in a fast-changing world. This will require space to collectively pause and reflect on what has been learnt, how collaboration could be strengthened further as systems move from response to recovery and how best to marshal collective resources around a refreshed set of priorities. 

    Integrated leadership: This workshop is delivered online or in small groups onsite. It enables local system leaders identify their shared vision, commitment, leadership and accountability to achieve a fully integrated local health and care system. Our approach can be adapted to work across a range of complex systems, including diverse organisational structures or multiple planning and commissioning footprints. 

    When worlds collide: this practical and interactive workshop is designed to further mutual understanding and effective engagement for place-based leaders in care, health and wellbeing. Focused on either the NHS or local government, it explores organisational differences to help leaders in other parts of the system understand the context in which their colleagues work.

    Bespoke workshops

    We also offer bespoke workshops, to reflect your local priorities.  All workshops can be run virtually, as half or full day events on a one-off basis, or as a series of sessions, depending on your local need. 

    Recent workshops have focused on bringing politicians and officers from local authorities together to discuss their offer to the local system, and working with both local government and health partners in a locality to identify their shared priorities. 

    What will you gain from the workshops?


    • An opportunity to learn from experienced peer facilitators with credibility in health and local government who can signpost you to other contacts
    • A chance to step back and develop a greater understanding of the work of your local partners and future opportunities for collaboration
    • A space to identify practical, locally-owned actions to escalate the scale and pace of integration of your locality
    • The chance to gain clarity on what you want to achieve
    •  Receive constructive challenge around plans and find out if they are aligned to ensure all partners are working together on joint initiatives and priorities 
    • Increase the confidence of your system leaders in managing greater levels of uncertainty and complexity
    • Gain support so you can adapt and revise solution as situations unfold
    • Consider new ways of working and creative solutions to overcoming problems 

    How to book a workshop

    To book a workshop, please email

  • Mentoring is a great way to explore the issues you can’t easily discuss with colleagues, to reflect on difficult decisions and to get a different perspective. As well as building on existing networks and linking systems with similar challenges or experience, we will also match individuals for one-to-one support. Formal, funding mentoring will be focused on executive leaders where there are clearly defined objectives for the mentoring relationship.

    Peer mentoring is traditionally a one-to-one non-judgemental relationship in which an individual (mentor) voluntarily gives time to support and encourage another (mentee). Peer mentors provide advice and guidance for those who require their support.

    What impact can mentoring have?


    • Improve self-esteem and confidence.
    • Develop communication skills and problem solving skills.
    • Provide a space away from your team to discuss current challenges.
  • Peer review is a robust and effective improvement tool led by the sector, for the sector. Building on the success of the LGA’s exisiting peer review model - which has been adapted to be used virtually over recent months – we continue to introduce more experience peers from the NHS and to market the approach more directly to an ICS or place-based audience. 

    The model has been flexed from a four-day, intensive onsite offer to one delivered virtually over one or two days, with a mix of one-to-one interviews and focus groups, examining the opportunities and challenges local partners are facing. It involves a team of trained peers, including current or former NHS and local authority chief executives, spending between two and four days with your key leaders. Focused on reflection and learning, rather than inspection and assurance, it provides both support and challenge in a confidential setting.

    This is designed as a sense check for each partnership and an opportunity to hear how others are meeting similar challenges, encouraging the cross fertilisation of good practice within and between systems. 

    We have also developed a peer-to-peer review model where senior representatives from two systems come together over a day and a half to compare their vision, priorities, successes and challenges. The aim is to share these with experienced colleagues in a safe space to gain a different perspective and new ideas about how to solve common problems. 

    The output is a set of slides, summarising the peer team’s observations and recommendations. This approach is less time and resource intensive, thus more appealing and practical for leadership teams. However, we would still be able to offer a more in-depth peer challenge approach to any systems.

    Both peer reviews are suitable for partnerships where relationships need to be consolidated, rather than those at the very earliest stages of maturity.

    What will you gain?

    • A fresh perspective from expert, trained NHS and local government peers with first-hand experience of system working
    • Constructive feedback and recommendations on what you can do to drive improvement

    Follow-up support from expert peers, if requested.