#FaithinPartnership Week

11th – 15th September 2023

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

Actions to support partnership – Addressing barriers to working with the VCSE sector in integrated care systems

The Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector is a vital cornerstone of a progressive health and care system, as stated in the ICS Design Framework, and the sector is key to enabling the transformation and achieving the ambitions ICSs are striving for.

NHS England have been supporting the development of VCSE Alliances at system level since 2019 and this work continues to develop and evolve. The Kings Fund were commissioned to explore barriers to embedding the VCSE within ICSs, building on the insight, knowledge and experience of the leads developing VCSE Alliances across the country.

The barriers being explored are:

  • commissioning, service design and delivery
  • sharing data, insight and intelligence
  • funding and sustainable investment

The report ‘Actions to support partnership – addressing barriers to working with the VCSE sector in integrated care systems’ is aimed at leaders in ICSs and the wider VCSE sector, alongside NHS England, other national bodies and funders and focuses on:

Key actions related to factors which contribute to barriers and challenges in the areas outlined above

  • Ways of working that can help mitigate barriers and facilitate solutions
  • Systemic actions that can help embed and spread good practice
  • Key reflections on the experience of leading change.

The report is supported by a resource, ‘A framework for addressing practical barriers to integration of VCSE sector organisations’ which provides:

  • An overview of the three areas which form the main barriers and challenges to partnership working between the VCSE and statutory sector
  • A menu of approaches that others have adopted or are trying which can support addressing those barriers
  • A series of detailed case examples drawn from different ICSs which provide an understanding of the processes that people have gone through which take account of the journey of implementation and local context.

The framework is currently available on the FutureNHS Platform, access to this workspace can be gained directly through the Working in Partnership with the Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise Sector – FutureNHS Collaboration Platform homepage, if you currently have a FutureNHS account. Those without a FutureNHS account can either self-register to the platform if they have an nhs.net or nhs.uk email account, or directly request access by emailing the workspace manager if they are from other organisations ([email protected]).

The Framework can be found via the following link – Framework for addressing practical barriers to integration of the VCSE organisations in integrated care systems.

If you have any questions please contact England.voluntarypartnerships@