Working in partnership with people and communities

Working in partnership with people and communities is new statutory guidance for Integrated Care Boards, NHS trusts and foundation trusts and policy for NHS England. It supports them to meet their public involvement legal duties and the new ‘triple aim’ of better health and wellbeing, improved quality of services and the sustainable use of resources.

The guidance sets out how working with people and communities supports the wider objectives of integration including population health management, personalisation of care and support, addressing health inequalities and improving quality. It supports organisations to build collaborative and meaningful partnerships that start with people and focus on what really matters to our communities.

There are clear benefits to working in partnership with people and communities. It means better decisions about service changes and how money is spent. It reduces risks of legal challenges and improves safety, experience and performance. It helps address health inequalities by understanding communities’ needs and developing solutions with them. It is about shaping a sustainable future for the NHS that meets people’s needs and aspirations.

Integrated care gives an opportunity for the NHS to collaborate with partners on working with communities. This is both within the NHS (for example, commissioners and providers coordinating their involvement activities so they do not duplicate), and between the NHS and other partners – including local authorities, social care providers, Healthwatch and voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector organisations that already have links to and knowledge of communities.

The guidance contains case studies and useful resources to find out more about working effectively with people and communities.
There is also separate statutory guidance on Involving people in their own health and care (being updated) which set out how to involve individual people in their own health and care.

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