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How we work with partners

How we work with Healthwatch

Healthwatch was established under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 as an independent voice and champion for health and social care users. Its job is to both listen to the views of service users, but also to tell providers and commissioners of services where they believe we can make improvements.

In the North East and North Cumbria, there are 14 local Healthwatch organisations, and they also work together as part of the North East and North Cumbria (NENC) Healthwatch Network. Each local Healthwatch is funded by- and accountable to- local authorities.

The ICB recognises that only through partnership working, meaningful engagement and the combined resources of Healthwatch, will we make a positive difference to the health, wellbeing, and care of the communities we represent.

As part of this process, our aim is for Healthwatch to have a seat at each level of decision making within the Integrated Care System. This includes having a Healthwatch Representative on the ICB board as a non-voting member and critical friend.

We are also committed to our continued collaboration with Healthwatch to support our ambitions for improvement across system wide planning and service delivery.

If you would like to contact your local Healthwatch to tell them about your experiences of local health services, you can contact them here:

Healthwatch County Durham

Healthwatch Cumberland

Healthwatch Darlington

Healthwatch Gateshead

Healthwatch Hartlepool

Healthwatch Middlesbrough

Healthwatch Newcastle

Healthwatch North Tyneside 

Healthwatch Northumberland

Healthwatch Redcar and Cleveland

Healthwatch South Tyneside

Healthwatch Stockton-on-Tees

Healthwatch Sunderland

Healthwatch Westmorland and Furness

How we work with the Voluntary, Community, and Social Enterprise sector (VCSE)

We recognise the importance of organisations and community groups in the North East and North Cumbria which represent a range of voices across our local communities. We recognise the number and diversity of organisations that make up our vibrant third sector, providing expertise, knowledge and advocacy. Engaging with the VCSE, its networks and the specific groups representing and supporting our communities on specific issues across our region, is vital to our work.

The VCSE Partnership Programme ensures the VCSE sector is embedded at all levels of the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System (ICS), from strategic board level, to design and delivery of services in neighbourhoods and localities.

All ICS partners share the drive to improve the health and wellbeing of our population. By working as an integrated part of the ICS, the VCSE sector can bring its extensive expertise and reach into health and care services, enabling communities to communicate their own priorities, delivering preventative work which will decrease pressure on NHS services, as well as supporting the design and delivery of models that combine medical interventions with more holistic support.

The VCSE Partnership Programme offers the opportunity for organisations to participate in the ICS at whatever level is appropriate at that time, and the ability to move between levels of involvement as capacity, interest and relevance dictate.

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