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Working with our Communities

How we work with Healthwatch

The 13 local Healthwatch organisations in our region are working together as part of the North East and North Cumbria (NENC) Healthwatch Network and also collaborating at sub-regional levels to share information and feedback with the ICB. The 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.

All local Healthwatch in our region continue to be contracted to work within their neighbourhoods by local authority Commissioners. This ensures that local people's experiences drive change and voices are heard at every level of our health and care system.

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

To find out more about how we work with Healthwatch, please email necsu.icb.involvement@nhs.net.

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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