Partnerships and relationships

We collaborate and co-operate with organisations at national and local level to improve outcomes, meet the requirements of the mandate and ensure that the NHS operates within its financial resources.  It can be successful only if others see us as committed to working in partnership and good to do business with. NHS England is a complex organisation. We need to help external stakeholders to understand and navigate the organisation. We also need to ensure consistency and coherence in the way we manage our relationships with partners.

Our key partners include:

Partnership agreements

Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprises

Since its inception, NHS England has been committed to the principle of co-designing national health strategies with voluntary sector and patient groups, citizens and community partners.

The Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector is an important partner for statutory health and social care agencies and plays a key role in improving health, well-being and care outcomes. Recent legislation and strategy documents such as the Health and Social Care Act 2012, Care Act 2013, Five Year Forward View 2014 and the Next Steps of the Five Year Forward have recognised this and promoted the role of VCSE organisations in improving outcomes.

VCSE organisations improve health outcomes and tackle health inequalities not only by delivering services but also by shaping their design and advocating for, representing and amplifying the voice of service users, patients and carers. Their input is essential to a vibrant local health economy. This is why NHS England, in collaboration with the Department of Health, Public Health England and a group of other organisations from across the voluntary community and social enterprise sector, established an Advisory Group to review and make recommendations on how the statutory and VCSE sector could work better together to maximise their partnerships.

In May 2016 the final report on how voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations contribute to wellbeing, health and care was published and made a number of recommendations which included the need for a more streamlined VCSE investment programme. The Health and Wellbeing Programme has been developed in response to this.

Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Health and Wellbeing Programme

The Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Health and Wellbeing Programme was launched in April 2017 and is the place where the Department of Health, NHS England and Public Health England work together with VCSE organisations to drive transformation of health and care systems; promote equality; address health inequalities and help people, families and communities to achieve and maintain wellbeing.

The objectives of the Programme are to:

  • Encourage co-production in the creation of person-centred, community-based health and care which promotes equality for all;
  • Enable the voice of people with lived experience and those experiencing health inequalities to inform national policy making and shape the delivery of services;
  • Build evidence of sustainable, scalable solutions to mitigate and prevent inequalities impacting on the health and wellbeing of communities.

The Programme will seek to achieve its objectives through two co-dependent funded mechanisms: