Bringing together VCFSEs and PCNs
Resources developed through Lancashire and South Cumbria’s test, learn and review initiative
This page provides starting points and inspiration for Primary Care Networks (PCN) looking to work in collaboration with the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector (VCFSE).
Resources are based on our work as a learning partner to the Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System, to create and sustain meaningful connections in hyper-local, cross-sector partnerships, as part of their test, learn and review initiative.
Build a picture of the ingredients that are needed – almost like a blueprint for effectiveness, drawn from what is working already and then adapting the model.
IVAR was commissioned to be a Learning Partner to the Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System, alongside voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector (VCFSE) partners and Primary Care Networks (PCNs) in five areas, namely Central Lancashire, Pennine, Blackpool Wyre & Fylde, West Lancashire and Morecombe Bay/South Cumbria to facilitate emerging learning across a range of partners as part of their test, learn & review initiative.
The aim was to harness local leadership by bringing together VCFSE partners and PCNs – to maximise the potential of communities and to deliver improved health outcomes for local people. This in the context of the changing role of commissioning with a more community-centred focus, in a future Integrated Care System (ICS).
For more information on the local areas, please click on the links below:
We’ve identified nine puzzle pieces for creating connections that enable meaningful collaboration. More details can be found by clicking the drop-down ‘the pieces in detail’.
How to build an effective partnership
1. Share resources
Think about what can be achieved if, often individually limited, resources are shared across the entire system. How could you approach this?
4. Shared leadership
Explore connections with relevant work that encourages shared leadership at the neighbourhood and Integrated Care Partnership level.
Demystify your infrastructure to ensure all partners understand each other’s set-ups; and recognise that collaboration needs to be resourced.
Understand your individual and collective roles in the local and wider systems, and what ‘working together‘ means.
5. Acknowledge differences
Take a ground-up approach that acknowledges differences in local populations, and introduce clear structures for partnership working to sustain collaboration.
Establish a common language — the word ‘partner‘ might mean different things to different people.
3. Collaborative champions
Identify individuals who will step across organisational boundaries and seek opportunities for meaningful collaboration.
6. Nurture relationships
Take time to step back and work on relationships with partners to ensure you aren’t making unhelpful assumptions or creating barriers.
Appreciate and evaluate how the partnership has allowed you to extend your reach and better support local people.
How is this useful?
We hope the learning from Lancashire and South Cumbria’s test, learn and review initiative inspires your thinking around collaborative working. Insights were drawn from the day-to-day working of committed cross-sector leaders across the Integrated Care System, who openly and honestly shared their highs and lows, and their successes and challenges, of collaboration. From listening to and working alongside partners, we have been able to purposefully design a collection of resources that applies to any stage of joint-action – from first steps to strengthening partnerships.
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