Tweet about this on Twitter Email this to someone Share on LinkedIn

Transforming Healthcare Together


Equipping leaders to build relationships that transform our healthcare system

Acronyms explained arrow""


Acronyms explained

  • VCSE – Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise
  • ICS – Integrated Care System
  • STP – Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships

The NHS Long Term Plan commits local healthcare systems to working in a new way – from a focus on prevention and reducing health inequalities to earlier diagnosis of cancer and respiratory conditions.


Building relationships – with other health agencies, local government, providers and communities – will be essential for the leaders charged with bringing this ambitious vision to life. 


The free support offer below is for health, care and VCSE leaders who want to drive action through partnership working. There is a range of support for different levels, whether you are just getting started or have been working in this way for some time. 



Who is this support for? arrow""


Who is this support for?

  • ICS/STP Leads
  • Commissioners
  • Clinicians
  • Professionals from the VCSE sector

Behind the support offer... arrow""


Behind the support offer...

You can find out more about the funders and delivery partners behind this support offer by visiting their websites: 


Why should health and care agencies work with the VCSE sector? 

Our recent and current work has involved supporting 13 STP’s/ICS’s to partner with patients and voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations to:


  • Prevent stroke amongst high-risk groups
  • Reduce delayed transfers of care
  • Diagnose eye conditions earlier to prevent avoidable sight loss



The NHS is facing a number of critical challenges including an ever-increasing population and people living longer, with more complex, long-term conditions. In this climate of changing health needs and stretched resources, multi-stakeholder partnerships at a community level are needed to develop new ways of working in order to find local solutions.


People’s health is determined by a range of social, economic and environmental factors. For example, there is a clear correlation between poverty, poor health and early death. There is also evidence that links the amount of control people have over their lives with their and health and wellbeing. Health agencies are, therefore, increasingly interested in the role of prevention and partnership working. By listening to local people’s concerns and increasing their confidence and skills in self care, and by fostering relationships between communities, health professionals and VCSE organisations, we can address people’s needs in a more holistic way, tackle health inequalities and support individuals to take greater control of their own health.


In order to support people to stay well, for longer, in their communities we need to look together at the support people need alongside hospital and GP care. Community-centred and social prescribing approaches, as well as the role of VCSE organisations in delivering them, are increasingly being recognised as a way to address the wider factors that affect people’s health and wellbeing.


What does the VCSE offer? 


Small VCSE organisations are often the first to respond to ‘hyper-local’ needs and provide spaces where people feel safe and respected. They tend to focus on general wellbeing and have been described by public sector stakeholders as ‘the glue that holds communities together’. They are valued for having an ‘open door approach that means people are not turned away’. However, evidence also points to a mismatch between what many small community organisations do (their distinctiveness and social value) and how many public and voluntary sector programmes are funded.


There are of course challenges on both sides to community-centred working. It is not easy to reach the most marginalised populations or to identify where your approach or organisational culture may need to change. There are also financial constraints and limitations of short-term projects and programmes. 


How does this fit with the NHS Long Term Plan? 


The NHS Long Term Plan recognised the role VCSE organisations could play, in partnership with the NHS, to help deliver its vision. At a strategic level, NHS England is committed to working with VCSEs and establishing models for more equitable partnerships and better integration, and to increase the influence of the voice of patients. More locally, STP’s/ICS’s, as with any relatively new player in a system, are taking time to build consistently high and constructive levels of engagement with VCSE organisations and communities more widely.  


The Building Health Partnerships programme and this wider support offer – Transforming Healthcare Together – have been designed in response to all these challenges, to work intensively with statutory services to test and pilot new approaches to partnership working, and to support the leaders working to bring the NHS Long Term Plan to life.


Over the next five years, investment in primary medical and community services will grow faster than the overall NHS budget … – an NHS ‘first’’

NHS Long Term Plan

Sign up to our mailing list to keep up-to-date with future support dates and activities.