What are the opportunities?
1. The roll out of Integrated Care Systems in England
Many in the health space saw this collaboration as a way to provoke strategic discussions on poverty in Integrated Care Partnerships (ICPs), which will include local authorities, NHS trusts and other partners and receive statutory backing from 01 July 2022. These partnerships will plan how to meet public health and social care needs in their areas and were viewed as an opportunity to agree shared outcomes, commitments and resources.
2. The integration of public health into mainstream economic development
Places are building inclusive economic strategies to help tackle poverty and inequality. These aim to integrate health alongside skills and sustainability objectives into economic development, recognising the interdependence of, for example, job quality and security and health. There is an opportunity for health care systems to plug into these developments and jointly focus public health and economic regeneration through the lens of poverty.
- Bart’s Health described work that they had done in partnership with local further education partners to create pathways into the health and care workforce and locate facilities in the more excluded communities within East London.
- Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority have developed an index focusing on social progress, while also tackling inter-generational worklessness and developing private sector anchor institutions.
3. NHS and local government as anchor institutions
The concept of public sector organisations as local economic anchors is well established and provides opportunities to link into and influence business networks. Many local and combined authorities are quite advanced in this space, with comprehensive social value led procurement frameworks.
There were also lots of examples of trusts using their influence to promote the Real Living Wage, both among directly employed and contracted staff, including social care providers.
- Last winter Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland Integrated Care System invested in changing pay rates across the care sector, moving money from traditional NHS budgets. They have now reformulated primary care budgets to ensure money is better targeted at the most deprived communities in the city, addressing the lack of recognition for deprivation in the Carr-Hill funding formula which is the mainstay of general practice funding allocations. In the long term this is expected to reduce recruitment costs in areas where churn and knowledge loss is high.
- A number of places had also trialled locating welfare service hubs in healthcare spaces.
4. Co-producing with communities
Co-production is important for ensuring programmes are fit for purpose and informed by the lived experiences of those that they are designed to support. Healthcare professionals tend to be trusted and should be using this social capital to co-produce services and intervention programmes with communities. Where there is more reticence from communities to engage with health professionals, some had found delivering messages through trusted community voices a good way to build rapport.
5. Knowledge sharing between places
Places used existing frameworks for partnership, such as Health and Wellbeing Boards, with varying levels of success and expressed interest in sharing indicators and procurement experiences between them.