Thursday, 13 November 2014
NHS and charities!
Two weeks ago Simon Stevens published the NHS Five Year Forward View, a high-level strategy document on the future of the NHS. A couple of days later Andy Burnham reiterated his stance that the NHS should be the ‘preferred provider’ of health services, in an interview with HSJ.
Both positions mention the voluntary sector and profess its value. But there’s little hard policy to say how exactly we’ll establish good partnerships with heath commissioners. Enter ACEVO and our new ‘Working in Partnership’ report, published with the Central Southern Commissioning Support Unit.
Our report sets out seven principles to break down the barriers to partnership working between health and social care commissioners and the voluntary sector:
1. Sustainability - Organisations should seek to build partnerships through jointly committing leadership time and resource to understanding each other’s operating environments and contexts.
2. Transparency - Organisations should be open with each other and clear about the purpose and benefits of the partnership for partners, patients and the public.
3. Joint Vision - Organisations should share their vision and plans as early as possible so that they can identify synergies and opportunities to develop a joint partnership vision.
4. Joint Capability - Organisations should seek to enhance each other’s capability through, for example, knowledge transfer or the joint provision of services.
5. Proportionality - Both partners should be equal in the partnership but should be proportionate in their requirements of each other.
6. Innovation and improvement - Organisations should seek to share, develop and implement innovative solutions.
7. Accountability and governance - Be clear about how decisions are taken within each organisation and within the partnership. Agree how you will hold each other to account.
This is excellent progress. Now we need health commissioning units across the country to take these principles on board. ACEVO’s 2015 Election Manifesto - which we publish very shortly - devotes much attention to this area and will give the political parties food for thought. I’ll have more on this next week...