NHS Guidance Urges Role for VCSE in STP Engagement

New NHS England guidance on engaging local people in Sustainability and Transformation plans urges those responsible for developing plans to link with VCSE organisations, with an emphasis on people who are less frequently heard. 

The guidance document, 'Engaging Local People - a guide for local areas developing Sustainability and Transformation Plans', has been published to advise local health and care leaders how to put their communities at the heart of their work. 

Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STP’s) are joint plans produced by NHS providers, Clinical Commissioning Groups, Local Authorities, and other health and care services (including VCSE partners) for 44 ‘footprint’ geographical areas across England. They will form the basis for long term, place based planning and commissioning of services.

The document makes specific reference to VCSE organisations and how they can help reach those who experience the greatest health inequalities:

“VCSE organisations can help to reach those who experience the greatest health inequalities, including those who work with people with protected characteristics. Particular emphasis should be given to engagement with people who are less frequently heard and who experience the greatest inequalities in health outcomes. This will help to ensure that informed and conscious consideration is given to assessing needs in respect of the equality and inequality duties. Locally, the best source of support for linking with the voluntary sector is frequently the council for voluntary services (CVS), sometimes called a local development and support agency.

Consider using community-centred and asset based approaches that recognise the range of approaches to transforming services, reducing health inequalities and closing the three ‘gaps’ highlighted in the Five Year Forward View. These approaches will help to ensure that people from all sections of the community are able to participate.”

More information on the new guidance is available from NHS England.

Download the guidance document (PDF). 

Regional Voices has produced a short briefing on STP's - available here