#FaithinPartnership Week

11th – 15th September 2023

See what happened during our week celebrating and championing cross-sector working!

New action plan for NHS to make better links with voluntary sector

A new action plan setting out to deepen partnerships between health bodies and the voluntary sector has been launched with the backing of key public health bodies.

Headline recommendations in the plan include asking health providers to:

  • place a clearer expectation on health leaders to co-design services with users;
  • make wellbeing a core outcome for health and social care services; and
  • make the most of voluntary sector health providers by nurturing small organisations.

The action plan has been jointly agreed between NHS England, Public Health England, the Department of Health and Social Care and has been adopted by the Health and Wellbeing Alliance, the partnership programme between those bodies and the voluntary sector.

Commenting ahead of the launch, Simon Stevens said that use of the Social Value Act, which encourages commissioners to consider wider social outcomes, should be more routine in health services.

The recommendations are directed at health bodies across the NHS such as clinical commissioning groups, hospital trusts, and sustainability and transformation partnerships, as well as the voluntary sector. They provide a framework for improved partnership between the wider voluntary sector and government.

The plan has been developed by the joint voluntary, community and social enterprise sector review oversight group. The group is overseeing the implementation of a major report on voluntary sector involvement in healthcare published two years ago which has already led to significant progress including the establishment of the Health and Wellbeing Alliance, the launch of the Health and Wellbeing Fund, and the redesign of the Care Quality Commission’s Key Lines of Enquiry.

To find out more, read a helpful blog post on the NHS England site reflecting on the changes:

Read the action plan