Montage of Yorkshire and Humber scenes

Healthy changes? - report

Seminar, Leeds, November 29th 2011

This Involve Yorkshire & Humber seminar was designed to equip participants with up to date information about dramatic NHS reforms and how the sector can position itself.

Participants all received our new Guide to NHS transition in Yorkshire and the Humber and Influencing the new health system in a local area (published by Regional Voices, NAVCA and NCVO.)


  Photo of Mark Gamsu         Photo of Jo Whaley

Key points

Jo Whaley (Regions Health Project Manager, Regional Voices)

  • The new structures are complex and constantly evolving. The Health and Social Care Bill is still passing through Parliament but the changes to the architecture are already underway.

  • Building relationships with new commissioners and with Health and Wellbeing Boards is crucial. The sector will need to be able to demonstrate its value and worth to a new audience.

  • Regional Voices continues to advocate for voluntary sector places on Health and Wellbeing Boards – both with the House of Lords and with the NHS Future Forum. We also need to work with LINKS and emerging HealthWatch groups.

  • Personalisation, Any Qualified Provider and a general move towards larger scale tendering are other key themes the voluntary sector needs to be aware of.

  • A number of briefings on NHS reform can be found on the Regional Voices website.

Paul Moore (Health Inequalities Policy and Partnership Manager, Department of Health, Yorkshire & the Humber)

  • Health and Wellbeing Boards will develop Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies – the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) will inform this. The voluntary sector needs to play a more active role in contributing to JSNA to inform local commissioning plans.

  • Health and Wellbeing Board core membership is being kept deliberately tight, particularly while they’re in shadow form. The voluntary sector should seek to build alliances with the range of members, not just Healthwatch (including elected members and Directors of Adult Services).

  • It’s important that the sector looks to influence the partnerships that will sit underneath Health and Wellbeing Boards as well as the Boards themselves – these will have cross-departmental influence in local authorities (such as housing, planning and transport).

  • The sector Needs to work on better defining and promoting it's strategic influencing or voice role, beyond its role as service provider.

Colin McIlwain (Assistant Director, Commissioning Development, NHS England)

  • There are currently 24 emerging Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in Yorkshire and the Humber but these are evolving. Many mirror local authority boundaries but there are, for example, three  in Leeds.

  • It’s likely that CCGs will buy in their commissioning support from Commissioning Support Units (evolving from PCTs).

  • Health and Wellbeing Boards will play a hugely significant role – CCGs will need to take account of the the HWB’s Joint Strategy when developing their commissioning plans.

  • The voluntary sector needs to take a two pronged approach up to April 2013 – continuing to work with PCT clusters and developing relationships with emerging CCGs at the same time.

Mark Gamsu (freelance public health expert, visiting professor, Leeds Metropolitan University)

  • The voluntary sector needs to lead the way and carve out its own role in the new world, not be entirely led by the changing architecture. The sector has a long history of provided strong and sustainable services that reduce health inequalities, we are the experts in what we do.
  • The voluntary sector needs to clearly demonstrate the value of infrastructure organisations to commissioners and Health and Wellbeing Boards – explaining their role and why they need to be funded.
  • We need to build the capacity and skill level of local infrastructure organisations to gather and analyse data and intelligence so that we can provide commissioners with the evidence they need.
  • Regional Voices and Voluntary Sector North West have published Tell us what the problem is (by Mark Gamsu), on good commissioning of the voluntary sector.

Future seminars

Involve Yorkshire & Humber runs a programme of seminars to help the voluntary sector to get the facts and what they mean. Contact us if you would like to be told directly about forthcoming seminars.

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