Peer Support offer

A sector-led approach

The Local Government Association (LGA), NHS Providers, NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC), NHS Confederation and ADDAS have come together to develop a uniquely sector-led approach which offers support for sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) and local systems which voluntarily seek help from within the sector.

Jointly, our four organisations represent and bring together local commissioners, providers of NHS care and local authorities, giving us unique credibility and authority as a partnership. Our partnership enables us to promote the role of system working across a wide audience, ensuring decision makers from health and local government are all at the table. We are uniquely qualified and equipped to support local leaders to build effective relationships. 

Our offer of support is based on using senior, experienced and credible peers who either work within the NHS and social care organisations, or have very recent experience of leading and supporting local system working. It builds on extensive use of sector-led improvement approaches within local government, developed by the LGA, focusing on helping system partners to forge new collaborative relationships and build shared understanding.

A menu of tailored support

We can offer your local system leadership bespoke support comprising of the following options, however we will flex our approach as far as possible to meet local needs:

  1. STP/local system health and care peer challenge
  2. Facilitated integration workshop and other bespoke workshops
  3. Peer-to-peer support
  4. Peer mentoring


1. STP/local health and care system peer challenge

Peer challenge involves a team of trained peers from across health and local government spending up to five days with key leaders, examining opportunities and challenges within the local system. It is a voluntary undertaking aimed at bringing system partners together in a safe space to consider new and better ways of working together.

We meet with representatives from the system at the earliest opportunity to understand the local circumstances and scope the peer challenge. From the outset we get the whole system involved to own the peer challenge.

The peer challenge begins at least eight to 12 weeks before the peer team arrives on site. The peer review team will study documents, policies and performance information prior to arriving onsite and will gather information throughout their week, keeping system leaders regularly updated with their findings. On the final day they will provide constructive feedback including recommendations aimed to help drive improvement. An option of follow up support is available.

Our STP/local system peer challenge tends to be more suitable for those partnerships where relationships and agreement of the next steps need to be consolidated (rather than built from scratch).

We will discuss the most appropriate make up of peers with you but a typical team would comprise of:

  • Lead peer – usually a former chief executive of a health or care organisation with experience
    of leading system working
  • Trust chief executives or former chief executives with experience of the acute, mental health and community sectors
  • Trust chief executives or former chief executives with experience of the ambulance and specialist trust sectors where helpful
  • CCG accountable officer or clinical chair
  • Local authority chief executive
  • Local authority director of adult social services
  • Local authority elected member peer
  • STP director or other colleagues with direct and relevant experience of the issues the ‘client’ system is tackling.

 Download the brochure to find out more

2. Facilitating and integration workshops

Our facilitated integration toolkit and bespoke workshops enable local health and wellbeing system leaders to identify their ambitions, capacity, capability and commitment to make meaningful progress towards achieving a fully integrated local health and care system.

The workshop, facilitated by senior figures in health, local government and social care will enable you to identify where you are now and what more you need to do to escalate the scale and pace of integration. Our approach can be adapted to work with a range of complex situations, across diverse organisational structures or multiple planning and commissioning footprints. It is usually a half day workshop with follow up as required.

Download the brochure to find out more

3. Peer to peer support

We offer bespoke workshops with system leadership teams where there is a lack of consensus about next steps. We can deliver a series of sessions to help local system leaders to come to a shared understanding of the issues facing their system, and tailor follow up sessions as required.


4. Peer mentoring

Where helpful, we can match system leaders with professional coaches for one-to-one support. Coaching can be particularly beneficial in supporting leaders to reflect on tense relationships and weigh up difficult decisions. As with all coaching relationships, the nature of these discussions will remain confidential.


Other related support

This offer sits alongside the NHS Confederation-led regional networks for STP and ICSs, an approach also supported by LGA, NHSCC and NHS Providers. These two proposals are mutually reinforcing: the networks will allow partnership leaders to debate key issues arising from system working and to share learning regionally and nationally, and our offer will complement this with bespoke, frontline, peer-led support for individual STPs or systems.

Our advisors would also be happy to signpost other training, development and support products from across our memberships.


Find out more

Contact: Marcus Coulson
Programme manager – Peer support for local systems
NHS Providers and the Local Government Association

T: 07766 252 853

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