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:
- Care Quality Commission
- The Department of Health
- Health Education England
- Healthwatch England
- Industry (for example, the pharmaceutical industry)
- Local government
- NHS Improvement
- National Quality Board
- Professional groups
- Public Health England
- Trade unions
- Framework agreement between the Department of Health and NHS England
- Department of Health and NHS England Framework agreement – annexes A-C
- Partnership Agreement between NHS Trust Development Authority and NHS England, December 2013
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 and the Five Year Forward View 2014, 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.
The purpose of the Advisory Group Review is to:
- Describe the role of the VCSE sector in contributing to improving health, wellbeing and care outcomes
- Identify and describe challenges and opportunities to realising the potential of the sector to contribute to these outcomes
- Consult on options for policy and practice changes to address challenges and maximise opportunities, then develop final recommendations
In March 2015, the Advisory Group published an interim report which highlighted many of the challenges to investment and partnership working with the VCSE Sector.