Much work has been done in the background regarding making plans and drawing up strategies to embed the VCSE sector with the Integrated Care System (ICS).
We recently attended our fifth session, where we continued to develop a working strategy ready for sign-off at the end of June, in readiness for when the ICS takes over from the CCGs in July. As you can imagine, this is a huge task and has involved a lot of representatives from our voluntary sector. We have been working very closely with members of the CEO Network who represent all our charities, social enterprises and local community groups in our region. Aimee Cole, the Lead Partner from NAVCA and Julie Farrow, CEO of Hunts Forum, have been responsible for spearheading the work. Working together, they have steered the meetings to ensure we deliver our proposed strategy to the Integrated Care Board (ICB) through a ‘Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)’, a document describing the board outline and accepted expectations of all parties.
What you need to know about the ICS (in a nutshell)
The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Integrated Care System (ICS) will become a statutory body in July 2022 and replace the former CCGs (Community Care Groups). The ICS brings together NHS organisations and providers, local authorities, and voluntary, community and social enterprise sector (VCSE) organisations to promote, support and improve the health and wellbeing of almost a million people living locally.
Following the ‘ICS Design Framework’ by NHS published in June 2021, the guidance concluded there was an enhanced role for the VCSE sector, not just as service providers but also in system leadership and governance. The framework also offered flexibility In how the VCSE sector interpreted its role and recommended they form an alliance to discuss a strategy on how the VCSE sector could be embedded within Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to create a successful partnership.
VCSE Leadership Group (CEO Network)
Through our county consortia, ‘Support Cambridgeshire’, a VCSE Leadership Group was established to work alongside our existing CEO Network and bring together people who have an extensive range of voluntary sector expertise, as part of the ‘Embedding the VCSE in the ICS’ work. Collectively they also represented the VCSE at various boards and forums and were constantly able to advise the VCSE Leadership Group by providing ideas, having open discussions, giving feedback and ultimately identifying the critical infrastructure needed to work a successful partnership.
Where are we now?
We are nearly at the finish line with only a few weeks before submitting our Strategy to the ICB. Whilst the Strategy won’t be set in stone, it will set out our current thinking on the tangible goals we want to achieve in the short, medium and long term, and it will be revisited in the next 12 months to reflect any changes as the ICS develops. Our overarching goals within our strategy include;
- Support and enable a thriving VCSE sector to play its part
- Place the VCSE as an equal partner within the system
- Work to drive change and create a tangible impact on people and communities and tackle health inequalities
- Build robust, inclusive and empowering relationships throughout our partnership
You will be able to find more in-depth information on our progress and take a closer look around the ICS on our Support Cambridgeshire website over the forthcoming weeks.