The VCSE sector and the STP working together

Supportive hands VCSE STP working together


Healthier Together, the Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) of Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucester (BNSSG), consists of 13 local healthcare-focused organisations serving the community. The STP is developing a new Integrated Care System (ICS) that, alongside the NHS Long-Term Plan, will result in different delivery of health and related services.

Three VCSE sector support agencies (Voscur, Voluntary Action North Somerset (VANS), The Care Forum) are working with Healthier Together to develop proposals for the involvement of diverse VCSE organisations in STP activities. These agencies have a strong track record of building and maintaining relationships with VCSE organisation leaders, BNSSG Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the local authority, academics working in the health sector, and the STP.

Funded by NHS England, this initiative will prompt conversations between VCSE organisations and health professionals about different collaboration models, relationships and projects to develop together. The aim is to create a framework to jointly deliver the ICS, ensuring the STP and VCSE sector collaborate effectively.


How to get involved

We are starting a wider conversation about VCSE sector involvement in community health and care through:

Focus groups - the chance to share your views on how the VCSE sector and STP could work together. The first series of focus groups took place in late March and covered these emerging themes:

  • Communications, language and culture - different approaches, such as medical and social models; sector-based jargon.
  • Shared strategic leadership - joint development of strategic approaches; engaging with programmes and governance structures; different scales of operation and responsibility.
  • Knowledge of services - joint understanding of services offered; understanding of integrated services in a wider system.
  • Diversity and single point of access - desire for easy access to multiple and complex community services; diversity of providers (micro, small, medium, large) with different clients, legal structures, resources and histories.
  • Locality-based working and specific communities - the tension between geographic provision and inclusion of organisations that serve communities of interest and practice.

An engagement event - this will bring together voluntary organisations, stakeholders and the STP. Themes from the focus groups will feed into discussions at the event. To be held on Monday 20 May 2019, this event is open to VCSE organisations that work on health/social care outcomes and health professionals wishing to take part. Click here for more information and to book your place.

Action planning focus groups – following the event, further focus groups will offer the chance to turn these discussions into action plans. These will form a framework for closer working between the VCSE sector and the STP.


Inclusion of smaller VCSE organisations

We are aware that smaller VCSE organisations can find it difficult to participate in such activities. Their involvement is crucial, so we have created a Participation Fund, particularly for smaller VCSE organisations in priority wards or neighbourhoods, to make it easier for them to be involved. Please download the attachment at the bottom of this page, called 'VCSE STP Participation Fund Criteria', to view the criteria and find out if your organisation is eligible for this funding.

If you have any questions about this project, the focus groups, the engagement event or the Participation Fund, please contact Voscur:

Phone - 0117 909 9949

Email -