Our offer of support to help system partners forge new collaborative relationships

Miriam Deakin profile picture

01 May 2019

Miriam Deakin
Director of Policy and Strategy


NHS Providers has teamed up with the Local Government Association (LGA), NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC), ADASS and the NHS Confederation to develop a uniquely sector-led peer support offer for sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) and local systems which voluntarily seek help from within the sector.

This offer sits alongside the NHS Confederation-led regional networks for STP and integrated care systems (ICSs), an approach also supported by LGA, NHSCC, ADDAS 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.

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.

Miriam Deakin    Director of Policy and Strategy

Jointly, the 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 members see us as being independent, ‘from and of the sector’ and therefore uniquely qualified and equipped to support local leaders to build effective relationships. 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. 

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.

We focus particularly on helping system partners to forge new collaborative relationships, build shared understanding and agree next steps.

A menu of tailored support

We can offer your local system leadership bespoke support comprising of the following options. We can also flex our approach as far as possible to meet your local needs.

Our support includes:

STP/local system health and care peer challenge 


The 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. This is voluntary and aims to bring system partners together in a safe space to consider new and better ways of working together. This 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).

Facilitated integration workshop and other bespoke 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.


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.


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.


To find out more about how we can work with your local system visit the peer support offer page or contact Marcus Coulson, programme manager at NHS Providers and the Local Government Association at marcus.coulson@nhsproviders.org

About the author

Miriam Deakin profile picture

Miriam Deakin
Director of Policy and Strategy
@MiriamDeakin

Miriam is our director of policy and strategy and is currently leading our programme of work on sustainability and transformation partnerships and accountable care to inform our influencing activities on trusts’ behalf and ensure we are offering the support that trusts and their partners need to deliver new, collaborative arrangements. Read more

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