Health Alliance Meeting – 18th October 2023

Chaired by Sandie Smith (Programme Director) 


Sandie welcomed everyone to the meeting and talked through the updates to the action log.


Programme Director update 

Sandie updated the group on some support that is being offered to Cambs and Peterborough through NAVCA to support the Health Alliance development. We will get six days of support from Amie Cole (who came in the early stages of the Alliance to help set it up). Many of you will have met her previously.  

Andrea Grosbois explained that there have been some other monies available which they hope to tie up together and use to help produce a Quality Development Tool as part of its use. The aim is to include backfill costs to allow Alliance members to participate. 

Sandie explained that as part of the development, we are keen to get the branding for the Health Alliance right. There will be a survey going out to all organisations from PVCS, Hunt’s Forum and CCVS to collect opinions. Please take time to complete. 

Sandie will collate the replies and there will be a workshop in late November to take this further. Once the date is set we will give a call out for interested parties. 

Sandie and Julie Farrow fed back on the Outcomes Framework workshops they had attended. In the first session, four people from the Health Alliance attended and 10 voluntary sector groups attended the second one.  

All that attended felt the meetings were of value. Health is moving from Health to Health inequalities and the voluntary sector is in a good position to report on this. They felt it was good to take a step into the NHS world for a change and with the minimal presence of social care the voluntary sector was able to fill in some of the gaps. 



Miriam Martin fed back on the Improvement and Reform, Commissioning and Investment Committee. This meeting is now a merger of two meetings so is four hours long. She reported that often the papers for the meeting arrive the Friday afternoon a week before the meeting. As they are often 400 pages or more wading through what is relevant and where she can make comments is difficult. 

However, Miriam reported she has enjoyed being at this meeting and has learnt a lot. She is able to make sure the voluntary sector is considered and it’s good to know what is coming up. 

She feels it might be difficult to add an item to their agenda. 

Sharon Allen fed back on the People Board- Sharon and a colleague attend some of the various subgroups of this committee. These include EQDI, Retainment and Recruitment, Education, and Accommodation. They attend where it’s possible and relevant. 

There has been a big focus on “One Workforce” however this is difficult due to the variation in terms and conditions. Sharon plans to meet with a new person who will be looking at staff benefits. 

A question was raised about accessibility of meetings- How do people access the decision makers and raise what the barriers to engagement are? 

Andrea has a list of questions to take back to the ICB and will raise this too. 

Julie Farrow said previously she had done a governance review and had raised the issue around the length of papers, and lateness of them arriving, and had suggested that somewhere it could be highlighted what the essential read for the meeting was.  

Hunts Forum and CCVS have received funding from ICB. Hunts Forum is leading on the influencing and has a training programme available to people who would like to be a rep in the future but want a bit of training/support. This is free and open to all. Please let Sandie, Debbie or Julie know if you are interested. 

It was asked how we let users of services know what is happening. The monthly bulletin that Sandie produces is something that could be shared widely. The ICS also produce a slide deck with information and updates. 

Next year there are plans to have a participation summit. It would be useful too to have an ‘insight bank’ for people when report writing. There is a commitment to get the service user voices heard and Health Alliance members are in a good position to collect these. 



Michael and Rachel from Cambs CAB earlier in the year worked with Healthwatch to test what could be done with collated data. Within the voluntary sector, different data is collected but there could be some common ground. If this could be matched to some of the data statutory bodies use, particularly health this would be useful for planning. 

Michael is now keen to hear from organisations that have data they are willing to share and is looking for people to be part of a working group to develop this. 

Contact Michael directly if you are interested 

A question was asked about how organisations could showcase the pieces of work they have been doing with health. There could be an opportunity for stories to be shared in the ICB newsletters/updates. 

The group were asked if they had any health-related stories they would like to share they could share with Sandie or Debbie. 



Julie talked about the changes that will be coming in around procurement for services. The papers are going to parliament in early Spring however those for Health are coming into effect in December. There is bound to be some overlap with new contracts so organisations may find they may get extensions to contracts as well as having to work to old and new rules. Further detail here: 



Support Cambridgeshire have launched a volunteer portal Volunteer Cambs. 

Organisations are being offered the opportunity to add their volunteering opportunities to the site. The site will be launched to the public next year however they can use it too at the moment. Visit the site  Volunteer Cambs 

There is plenty of support being offered to organisations/ groups to get their details on the site and there will be a workshop on 31st October too. If you are interested in a workshop sign up here. 

Sharon mentioned the Above Difference culture change programme (something the Local People Board have been working on) 


The first Cohort is aimed at CEOs and Chief Officers, the voluntary sector has three places allocated, and there have been two expressions of interest so anyone interested, please let Sharon Allen know ASAP. There will be two further cohorts so there are other opportunities for the voluntary sector to engage. 

Sharon also mentioned the Springboard. Springboard is an award-winning personal development programme for women who want to take control over their lives, become more assertive, increase their confidence and build themselves a more positive attitude in both their work and home lives. 

The sessions are held in St Ives- there is a cost to the programme and you will be expected to attend all dates- for more info and booking:- 


 Next Meetings 

6th December 1-3 pm on Zoom 

17th January 1-3 March Library 

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