ICS leaders meet with local voluntary sector groups to set path for closer involvement

Key Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) groups in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire met with BSW Partnership leaders recently to discuss how they can contribute to the development of integrated care in the region over the coming years.

BSW Partnership chair designate Stephanie Elsy and Senior Responsible Officer Tracey Cox met representatives of the VCSE sector to discuss how to ensure the voluntary sector is closely involved with the development and decision-making of the BSW Partnership.

Organisations at the meeting include Bath-based 3SG, Wessex Community Action, Voluntary Action Swindon and Community First Wiltshire.

A follow-up meeting is being planned for later in the summer to co-produce plans for VCSE involvement in ICS plans.

There are over 2880 charities and third sector organisations currently operating in BSW with a collective total income of around £1bn.

Third sector organisations will play an important role in the BSW Partnership and have made an invaluable contribution during the past months. The recently published government guidance that ICSs across the country are using to help design how their systems will look in the future describes the VCSE sector as being a “vital cornerstone of a progressive health and care system.”

Tracey Cox, Senior Responsible Officer for the BSW Partnership said it was important that the VCSE sector was involved in the developing Integrated Care System.

“The meeting was very positive with recognition there is good engagement and involvement with our emergent Integrated Care Alliances in BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire.

We’ve planned a further meeting to consider how to create the appropriate infrastructure and support to enable partners to connect more easily and play a full role within the ICS.”