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Community-made content which you can improve Case study from our community

How developing shared vision and values can be a key ingredient for success in service transformation

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This case study is part of a series looking at the role of voluntary organisations in health and social care system transformation . It was kindly supplied by Garry Jones of Support Staffordshire.


NHS England introduced sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) in 2016, with the aim of bringing health and social care services together. The NHS Long-Term Plan, published in 2019 set the ambition that every STP should become an integrated care system by 2021. There will be 42 integrated care systems covering all of England, each tasked with bringing health and social care services together to work more efficiently and effectively and improve outcomes and services for their local populations.

NCVO followed nine of these areas during 2018/19 that were funded by NHS England to build stronger partnerships with their voluntary sector and work out how the voluntary sector can be more engaged strategically. Through this work, NCVO identified five ‘core components’ that ensured that the partnerships with the voluntary sector were robust, sustainable and effective. One of these was developing shared vision and values.

The issues we faced

Improvements in end-of-life care in Staffordshire had stalled due to a large NHS procurement process (to let a prime contract for end-of-life care) being abandoned. The STP had prioritised end-of-life care within its plans.  In considering the current health and care landscape and new and emerging models of end-of-life care (including a community development approach), it was apparent that there might be opportunities for a more cohesive response from the voluntary sector.

The actions we took

  1. Working closely, Support Staffordshire, St Giles HospiceCompton Care and Katherine House Hospice built a self-selecting alliance of end-of-life care providers.
  2. We revisited and reviewed communications around end-of-life care. We worked with a marketing company to review and relaunch ‘How I Want to Go’ public awareness campaign.
  3. A conference was held with nearly 100 attendees from voluntary organisations to explore the community development approach and to consider workforce development needs to support this.
  4. Four ‘understanding loss’ workshops were held for staff and volunteers in voluntary organisations.
  5. Some alliance members started a QCF Level 2 qualification in end-of-life care and further training and development is scheduled.
  6. ‘Flipping Care Planning Pilot’:  Stage 1 of the pilot will test a model of ‘bottom up care planning’ aiding groups, organisations and members of the public to take responsibility for developing their care plan.  A further stage will be to test the integration of this care planning system with primary care.  The End-of-life Care Board has supported the pilot project. 

Positive outcomes

  • Awareness raising activity and training for the workforce means that people’s confidence around issues relating to living and coping well with terminal illness, dying and bereavement is increasing. 
  • The creation of a network of people working together to improve end-of-life care from the voluntary sector which wasn’t in place before.  It is early days in terms of impact on the system or tangible patient benefits, this will hopefully come from the care planning pilot.  There is certainly much more to do.

Enabling Factors

  • Focusing on a topic that united everyone: this gave way to clear direction and action.
  • Independent facilitation from Support Staffordshire.
  • A representative from the CCG and Public Health Staffordshire attend alliance meetings and provide a link to the Health and Wellbeing Board.
  • NHS England funding created capacity to move the ideas from the Alliance forwards at pace.

Negative outcomes

  • The pace has been good to keep the VCSE sector motivated and involved. But with local changes in the CCG, they have dropped away, especially when one key person moved roles.
  • NHS technology has meant that the care planning work has had to go ahead without GP integration.

Lessons learnt

  • Get greater commitment from NHS partners at a senior level.
  • There is real potential for collaborations between larger local charities and infrastructure organisations to connect them to a wider audience.

Further information



Page last edited Oct 18, 2019

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