STP VCS engagement

Please note the deadline for responding to this is 20 May 2016

Dear Colleague

As you may be aware, health service and social care leaders across the country are being asked to develop five-year place-based plans covering all areas of NHS-commissioned care in their area (including by working closely with colleagues in local government). The idea is that some of the challenges being faced are just too vast to be tackled by single economies in isolation, and instead could be better and more effectively solved in partnership with neighbouring economies on a larger scale, and as a result, Herefordshire and Worcestershire have been asked to work together on the plan.

While the guidance for sustainable transformation plans focuses mainly on NHS services, developing a credible plan will require the NHS to work closely with social care, public health and other local government services, as well as third sector organisations and members of the local community.  A programme board has been established to oversee the production of the plan, and the VCS is represented on this by us - Jacqui Bremner (Herefordshire VCS) and Carole Cumino (Worcestershire VCS).  An initial submission was made to NHS England in April, and this covered mainly process and governance, as well as an analysis of gaps in the system.  Unfortunately, ‘purdah’ (i.e. restrictions placed on communication during election periods) prevents us from circulating in full but all the updates already circulated provide information on the process and key areas of work.

So has our involvement to date had any impact?  We know that comments we made about the role of the VCS were incorporated into plan submitted in April.  In summary, the points we've made are those we've made on many occasions before:
•             the solution to the issues identified through the STP process cannot come from only within the 'statutory' sector, and has to take account of wider factors e.g. housing, transport as these have a direct impact on health
•             the VCS is very diverse - it can be a provider of services as well as a source of volunteers (and there is a cost attached to volunteers)
•             workforce - those working in the VCS (whether paid or unpaid) are part of the wider health & social care workforce
•             most importantly – the ‘wicked issues’ cannot be tackled without VCS involvement (and that's what Simon Stevens expects too!)
The next stage of the process is where there is real opportunity for wider VCS engagement in the workstreams as listed:

Herefordshire & Worcestershire STP Work streams

•             Stroke 
•             Cancer
•             Maternity and newborns
•             Mental Health
•             Learning Disabilities 
•             Compassionate care for people living with frailty
•             Children, Young People and Families
•             Communications, Engagement and self-care
•             Workforce and Organisational Development  -(includes VCS)
•             Social Care Provider review
•             Digital
•             Health and Wellbeing  - including prevention, early identification, diagnosis and treatment.

If you like to be involved in any of the workstreams, please reply to stating:

•             The workstream in which you want to be involved
•             The organisation and client group you represent
•             Whether you work/volunteer in Herefordshire or Worcestershire

As the STP process has to be completed within the next few weeks, the closing date for expressions of interest is Friday 20th May, but the earlier you can reply the better. There will be up to 4 places available for the VCS on workstream, so wherever possible, if you work for organisations with similar client groups, please consider sending a single representative rather than several people.  In order to facilitate VCS engagement in the STP will be some remuneration made available for people who are able to commit to participation in workstream meetings (up to 3 meetings).

I hope this is helpful


Carole & Jacqui

Please note all STP updates are posted on Community hwb web pages, you can find the latest one here