Voluntary sector partnerships

Partnership working between the voluntary sector, local government and the NHS is crucial to improving care for people and communities.

The NHS Long Term Plan and NHS Five Year Forward View highlight the need for closer working across these sectors to address the wider determinants of health, which in turn could impact on the demand on primary and acute services.

Integrated care systems and sustainability and transformation partnerships across the country are already seeing the impact this can have on the lives of patients.

Robert’s story

One Croydon in South London is a partnership made up of the local council, NHS and voluntary sector organisations. These organisations have come together to offer people living in the borough with complex health conditions and repeat hospital admission the opportunity to access further support and become more independent through personal independence coordinators.

A new video tells Robert’s story, a Croydon resident who after being confined to a hospital bed for almost a year, during which time his wife passed away, was discharged from hospital to his home shortly before Christmas.

Alone for the first time in 45 years, Robert was struggling to adjust to living independently. But everything changed when Brigstock Road Medical Practice referred him to Age UK Croydon’s personal independence coordinator, Sylvarani.

Working with partners from across the health service, the council and the voluntary sector, Sylvarani arranged for heating to be installed in Robert’s home, helped him apply for financial support and set him small, achievable targets to develop independence in his own home, such as walking up and down the stairs once a week.

The scheme is just one of the many ways that South West London’s Health and Care Partnership is bringing together local organisations providing health and care in six London boroughs – acting as one team to keep people healthy and well in Croydon, Sutton, Kingston and Richmond, and Merton and Wandsworth.

Watch Robert’s story

Tapping the potential

NHS England is supporting health and care systems across the country to deepen relationships with voluntary sector partners, working with national partners.

Transforming Healthcare Together is a free support offer, jointly funded by NHS England and the National Lottery Community Fund, equipping leaders to build the relationships needed to transform health and care systems.

Building Health Partnerships focuses on self-care and the role it can play in sustainable health and care services.

An NVCO-led programme is supporting increased involvement of voluntary and community sector partners in STP’s work.

A new report from the Richmond Group (a partnership of 14 leading health and social care organisations in the voluntary sector) highlights the benefits of collaboration and system change led by the voluntary sector, which can combine both agility and stability in an ever changing health care landscape.