ICS System Learning Event

An ICS ‘System Learning’ Event in partnership with New Local to explore… A Community Powered NHS Partners from across our Integrated Care System (ICS) joined a system learning event in April, Chaired by Phanuel Mutumburi the Director for Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality and Adam Lent, Chief Executive of New Local to hear about New Local’s ‘A Community Powered NHS’ report and consider how its recommendations could be implemented within Suffolk and North East Essex. New Local is an independent think tank and network of councils, with a mission to transform public services and unlock community power, led by a belief that people should have more say over the places they live and the services they use. Their report published in 2022 highlights how the shift to Integrated Care Systems opens up the possibility of moving to a more preventative approach in which the health service and partners mobilise the energy and assets of local communities to keep themselves healthy. Adam introduced the concept of a Community Powered NHS with the public sector empowering communities to work alongside them and explained the drive behind this new approach. The pandemic shone a light on how powerful a mobilised community can be, and there is now recognition that we need to move to a preventative model of care with communities at the heart. Furthermore the current environment in which public sector organisations operate in and the formidable challenges they face to tackle environmental, health inequalities and economic volatility, cannot be dealt with by the public sector alone. But utilising the intelligence and assets within communities, those needs can be met collectively. To start the session we heard from three local examples where a Community Powered Approach is already happening in Suffolk and North East Essex (SNEE). Sharon Alexander - CEO CVS Tendring CVS Tendring have adopted the Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) approach to how they work with communities which focuses on ‘what’s strong and not what’s wrong’, using assets in local communities including people and places to enable people to live happier healthier independent and longer lives and to connect people to these assets. The Kennedy Way Community Garden in Clacton-on-sea brought together SNEE Integrated Care Board, NHS Property Services, the local residents association and CVS Tendring to transform a piece of wasteland into a thriving vibrant community space which has generated fantastic outcomes for local people including a fully functioning sustainable garden encompassing a Men’s Shed, an outdoor gym, polytunnels, an orchard, raised beds, an upcycle hub, a wildlife garden and a community hub. Phanuel Mutumburi, Director, Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality and Adam Lent, Chief Executive of New Local 1 | Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System

Helen Bowles - Maternity & Neonatal Programme Manager, Suffolk & North East Essex LMNS The Local Maternity and Neonatal System (LMNS) partners across the ICS worked with Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) organisations to utilise their expertise and trusted relationships with local communities who are at risk of pregnancy and related health inequalities to deliver a range of projects to tackle barriers to access and build relationships. The service also co-designed a series of short films titled ‘It’s OK to Ask’ with local people from various backgrounds who have lived experience of maternity services. The theme is a common one – ask us about our ethnicity, disability, gender identity and highlighting that it’s neither racist, discriminatory or homophobic to talk with people about their specific needs – in fact, it’s necessary and appropriate in order to put the person at the centre of their care. Gemma Levi - Senior Manager, Community Infrastructure, Healthy Behaviours, Children and Families, Suffolk County Council (SCC) The Collaborative Communities Board (CCB) takes a collaborative approach to dealing with strategic issues within communities, bringing together system partners to deliver on joint ambitions with a focus on co-design. The development of the Financial Inclusion in Communities strategy demonstrates this approach, with SCC working in partnership with the VCFSE sector who used their existing relationships to engage communities to find out what was important to them in responding to the cost-of-living crisis. The VCFSE sector had 2 important roles to play, not only in co-designing the strategy but also to hold SCC to account on its delivery of the strategy. Common themes that we can learn from these projects for a Community Led Approach Activity should be built upon mutual respect between partners It requires collaborative working as equal partners It enables statutory partners to benefit from the trusted relationships existing within communities It’s important to listen to and respect the views and insight from communities even if it is at odds with what statutory partners had anticipated or planned for A Community Led Approach requires time to invest in building trusted relationships and co-designing together A Community Powered NHS | 2

Colleagues moved into groups to explore the opportunities and challenges to working in a more community powered way. Whilst there was wide agreement that there are many examples where co-production and community projects are already happening which should be embedded and built upon, much of the conversation explored the challenges to overcome which includes: • No central co-ordination for community activities – e.g. Suffolk Info Link and the Essex Map are great resources but how do we keep them up to date so that it remains relevant and promote it more widely? • The jargon used within the statutory sector creates barriers to engagement for community groups • Statutory partners need to challenge themselves to think outside of an ‘institutionalised perspective’ • Non recurrent funding presents barriers to sustaining relationships and services. Co-design with communities requires time to build relationships and develop services this is difficult to achieve in just 1 year • Resource and capacity challenges within communities can limit how they engage in this process • Culture change is needed to embed this approach • Commissioning processes can lead to a competitive environment that small local organisations are unable to respond to meaning large national charities are in a stronger position • The cost of living crisis is having a significant impact on community organisations who are seeing a rise in demand, against rising costs coupled with and stagnated income • Communities aren’t hard to reach, its services that are hard to access • There is a risk of engagement fatigue if communities feel they aren’t listened to The session concluded by inviting colleagues to think about the next steps or priorities needed to progress the Community Powered Approach, the word cloud below highlights some of the key themes: sustainable arrangements intelligence unrestricted funding commissioning over-regulation principles leadership accessible power acronyms equal understanding community-based shared disempowered centralised-information collaborative values trust lived-experience co-design simplified remunerate 3 | Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System

Phanuel, brought the session to a close reflecting on the common themes that arose in the session: To achieve a Community Powered NHS it requires statutory partners to be accessible and open so that VCFSE organisations can reach and work in partnership with them As a system we need to explore how we can share information about, and with communities, with greater ease and ensure that information on Suffolk Info Link and Essex Map is kept up to date The challenges of short-term funding and some of the current commissioning processes are not conducive to achieving a Community Powered Approach Next Steps The ICS is currently progressing the development of the VCFSE Resilience Charter which outlines principles and ways of working between the statutory and VCFSE sectors. The Charter has brought partners from across the system together to identify new ways of working to build partnerships and collaboration which aligns to the values of the Community Powered Approach. The Resilience Charter is being presented to the The Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care Partnership in June 2023 and if the principles are adopted and recommendations progressed, it paves the way for embedding a Community Powered NHS. The report by New Local ‘A Community-Powered NHS’ is available on the ‘New Local’ website at A Community-Powered NHS - New Local A Community Powered NHS | 4