Tag Archive for: CPICS

Health Alliance Group Update March 2023

Members from the Health Alliance group met again on Wednesday, 8th March. Due to COVID-related restrictions, the meeting was changed to online. Although the numbers were slightly down on previous meetings, all the members actively contributed a lot of feedback and gave a great representation on behalf of the voluntary sector.

Julie Farrow, CEO of Hunts Forum, again chaired the meeting. Julie gave an update on the ‘Action Log’, which is a log documenting all the actions that have risen from previous Health Alliance group meetings that need further investigation or action on behalf of the group.

It was noted that a good percentage of actions had been completed and archived.  However, more actions are added after each meeting – to read the latest update and find out the group’s current priorities, please email Debbie Drew, our Project Officer (Health) debbie@huntsforum.org.uk

Representative Boards update

Julie confirmed to the group that the ICB is currently reviewing their Governance regarding the VCSE sector representation at their different boards.   They asked for feedback from VCSE Representatives, which Julie has been able to collate and pass across, highlighting some of the frustrations the representatives have experienced to date.  An example of some of these issues include;

  • The agendas are too long.
  • The papers are hundreds of pages long with too much information to digest.
  • The structure of the boards can be difficult to understand.
  • A lot of the top decisions are already made prior to the meetings.

We continue to have a good number of Representatives feeding back regularly from attending the various ICB boards and committees.  We currently have representation on the following ICS boards & committees.

  • Local People Board
  • Quality, Performance and Finance Committee
  • Commissioning and Investment
  • Supply, Information and Planning Group (sub-group of Local People Board)
  • Health and Inequality Board
  • Improvement and Reform Committee
  • North Partnership
  • South Partnership
  • Children & Maternity Collaborative
  • Mental Health Collaborative

Full details of these reports can be seen on our Health Alliance webpage each month.  Click here to read the latest reports.

Integrated Neighbourhoods update

Debbie gave an update from the Integrated Neighbourhoods – she confirmed that both St Neots and A1 Huntingdon launched recently and are now in place.  They join Fenland, Fenland South and Wisbech Integrated Neighbourhoods.

Debbie updated the group with the great community initiatives & projects which continue to be run by Fenland and Wisbech INTs.

Julie updated the members on the progress of the three key projects and the task-and-finish groups which support them. The ICB funds these projects to help support the Health Alliance’s partnership development activities. These are:

Tackling Inequalities – the task and finish group created a project to look at the ‘ask’ from families within the Oxmoor and Wisbech area. The feedback from this project highlighted two immediate inequalities & needs.

    1. Digital Inequality – older people in Wisbech need technology support & training.
    2. Healthcare Inequality – families in Oxmoor experience a need for Health Visitors and are interested in understanding how to keep children safe.

A third area of inequality was discussed around mobility for the elderly, and a potential future project was signposted.  The project would include ‘chair-based yoga’ lessons.  A tutor has been identified, and the group is already established. Funding to cover an introduction 6-week course has been proposed.

Partnership Development – the task and finish group met recently discussed and agreed the following:

    1.  Frequency of meetings including widening it to other stakeholders – group discussed that while it would be useful to have stakeholders attend it should be by invitation relevant to agenda items. Discussion on potential for in person meeting with stakeholders twice a year
    2. Whilst meetings have been regular with good attendance, we have moved from reactive agenda items to a more structured approach and this was welcomed, it was agreed to leave room on each agenda for ad hoc discussions.
    3. Widening participation and encouraging smaller groups to attend – group discussed a developing a buddying process – large supporting small – similar to the CEO Network
    4. Group discussed the need for Secretariat resource with JF asking to prepare an ‘ask’

At this point in the meeting Julie outlined the secretariat resource ask

    • Programme Director – 14 hours per week = £20k
    • Project Officer – 21 hours per week = £20k
    • Communications – 7 hours per week = £5k
    • Data – 7 hours per month = £5k
    • Representation (refund for time spent at meetings) = £10k

The total ask was £60k which the ICS is supportive of this but had a couple of questions                       which were taken to the T&R Group but are also being brought here.

    1. We will need clarity on the areas of spend for the HA £60,000 with clear expected outcomes and deliverables for this investment, by 20th April
    2. That the funding is underpinned by the VCSE MOU and Strategy which outlines our ways of working, goals, ambitions, and indicators of success.
    3. That we have agreement for one VCSE organisation to hold the £60,000 funding for the Health Alliance on an interim basis before 14 March 2023. This is confirmed in writing to the ICS and this organisation invoices NHS Cambridgeshire & Peterborough before 14 March 2023 for £60,000.

Julie proposes if no one else is prepared to hold the funds that Hunts Forum continues with this function for the time being.

Those present voted to accept the proposal unanimously.

Securing Funding and External Investment – the task and finish group met recently and reported on the main points raised below;

    1. Funding has been secured to extend and expand the State of the Sector survey to include additional information on health activity and research on how well the VCSE sector is delivering on healthcare services.
    2. Julie will write a brief for an external fundraiser whose role will be to write a ‘fundraising strategy’ on how multiple organisations within the VCSE sector can collaborate and bid for additional funding together.

Potential 4th New project and task & finish group

Julie proposed that the group consider creating a new ‘task and finish’ group to investigate leading a ‘safeguarding’ training certification which can be accessed & recognised across all partners.

More details on how this might work to follow.

Strategic Goals

The meeting continued with Julie updating members on the progress of the second of four strategic goals, as mentioned in the VCSE strategy.

Goal 2 – Embed the VCSE sector as a respected and equal partner in the ICS

Although we have made a lot of inroads in achieving progress in Goal One, it is fair to say we haven’t been able to achieve the same level of progress in achieving our short objectives as highlighted in Goal 2 – Embedding the VCSE sector as a respected and equal partner in the ICS.

The following table shows the areas highlighted in amber and green where we have had success, specifically around representation, data collection and investment in building partnership structures.

However, it was flagged (in red) during the meeting that there were still key areas we still needed to address.  These included.

    • Setting up a training programme to offer confidence skills and encourage more members to become representatives.
    • Overcoming the technical barriers to develop the partnership between VCSE and Health & Social Care
    • Data and information sharing – finding new equal ways of accessing IT systems and data which support improved health and wellbeing.

Julie again reiterated that more participation from the VCSE sector is needed to join the Health Alliance and help raise the group’s profile. If anyone is interested in attending future meetings or knows of anyone else, please email debbie@huntsforum.org.uk to register.

Julie concluded the meeting by highlighting two funding opportunities which are about to be launched targeting the VCSE sector. These include;

    • Healthier Future Fund – £2m allocated for projects led by VCSE partners.
    • Tackling Prevention & Supporting Community Engagement – £1.2m allocated to the district council for working with Places and VCSE.

The next meeting is scheduled for 12th April between 9.30 am – 11.30 am online.

Health Inequalities Challenge Fund

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Integrated Care System (ICS) has announced the launch of the Health Inequalities Challenge Prize 2023, following on from its inaugural year’s success. This year’s contenders will have a shot at winning up to £24,000 to fund their innovation initiative with support from the Integrated Care System and partner organisations to develop their projects.

The theme for this year’s Challenge Prize is personalised care giving local people more control over and say in their health and care services. Local organisations, as well as individual people, can apply for the Challenge Prize to make their exciting, personalised care idea a reality.

As the Challenge Prize is all about reducing health inequalities, applicants are encouraged to focus their projects on helping a specific group of people – whether that’s veterans, people with learning disabilities, or other communities who tend to face barriers when it comes to health and care.

Simon Howard, Head of Culture, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Cambridgeshire & Peterborough ICS, said: “Last year’s Health Inequalities Challenge Prize was a great success. We’re excited to relaunch the Prize this year with a strong focus on new ideas that will empower people to lead the lives they want to live. It’s a great opportunity for local organisations to make improvements to people’s lives and reduce inequalities across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.”

Groups and organisations are invited to apply for the Challenge Prize by 1 May 2023. Twelve finalists will receive £4,000 to support their proposed solution. The winner of the Challenge Prize 2023 will then receive £20,000 to deliver their project.

Michael O’Toole, CEO of Cambridgeshire Community Foundation (CCF), said: “We are really proud to be partnering again with Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Integrated Care System on the Health Inequalities Challenge Prize 2023. The increased level of award up to a maximum £20,000 is a great opportunity for innovative ideas to support Personalised Care.

“The focus on the delivery of Personalised Care approaches means community-led projects will be supported to increase opportunities for people to have choice and control over the way their health and care is planned and delivered. Supporting Personalised Care is vitally import for our communities, so if you have a brilliant idea, then please do apply by 1 May 2023.”

Find out how to apply via the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation website. Applications closing on 1 May 2023.

Health Alliance Group Update February 2023

Members from the Health Alliance group met again on Wednesday, 8th February, online. We had a good turn-up of members from volunteer organisations, which gave a good representation of the VCSE sector.

The meeting was chaired by Julie Farrow, CEO of Hunts Forum.  Julie gave an update on the ‘Action Log’, which is a document listing almost 30 tasks the Health Alliance group has identified in previous meetings that need further investigation or action with the ICS or ICB.

The action log previously raised a question about Jargon busting. Debbie Drew, our Project Officer (Health) shared with the Alliance this https://www.cpics.org.uk/jargon-buster

Although a lot of progress has been made so far with members offering support and involvement in attending the numerous ICS boards, Julie reiterated that as a group, we needed more individuals from the voluntary sector to engage and share information and priorities from the ground level.  We have a great opportunity now to highlight to the ICS the key issues and frustrations facing the VCSE sector and our communities.

Julie then introduced Paul Taylor, Primary Care and HR Service,  Staff Support Hub Lead.

Paul gave a presentation introducing the Staff Support Hub (SSH).  The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough SSH are one of 40 hubs set up during COVID national.  These hubs were initially set up to help individuals in Social Care & Health, including the volunteer sector, whose mental health was being affected during COVID.  Paul explained that Cambridgeshire & Peterborough came ‘late to the party’ and thus only launched their SSH services around 18 months ago.

Paul went on to give a full presentation on the impact of the SSH, which so far has helped in the reduction of sickness and health for staff from across Health & Social Care.  Whilst mental health, including stress and anxiety, are still the biggest reasons for being off sick, the team at SSH are pleased to announce that Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have the 6th lowest workforce sickness rate in the country.

The Staff Support Hub has supported the following activities in our region:

  • Access to the Working Well programme – to help individuals remain at work.
  • Support helpline (between 11 am – 7 pm) through the Lifecraft Mental Health Charity
  • Wellbeing Webinars and Forums – covering key areas such as long COVID and Menopause
  • Signpost to Psychological well-being and Counselling services

To access the video showing Paul’s full presentation to the group

Unfortunately, Paul confirmed that a decision had been made by NHS England to cease all funding for the SSH nationally from the end of March 2023.  However, as Cambridgeshire and Peterborough programme started late and thus had money left in the budget, they will be able to keep operating a full service until September 2023.

However, from 1st of April, they will need to cut back on some services, including the Helpline and will be forced to bring it in-house, and will be monitored by existing staff.  For full information about the reduced services, please refer to their website www.staffsupporthub.org

Strategic Goals

The meeting continued with Julie updating members on the progress of one of four strategic goals, as mentioned in the VCSE strategy.

Goal 1 – Support and enable a vibrant and thriving VCSE sector to play its part

We have come a long way since the sign-off of the strategy some 10 months ago.  Although some progress feels very slow, the Health Alliance group has made some significant inroads in improving the relationship between the VCSE sector and the ICS.

The following table shows the progress we have made in achieving our short-term goals to-date.

We now have around 100 organisations actively involved within the VCSE sector. However, more work still needs to be done, and the Health Alliance group need more organisations to help further raise the profile of the VCSE sector and highlight all support we need.

Integrated Neighbourhoods update

Debbie gave an update from the integrated neighbourhoods she attends but is awaiting the priorities from others in Cambridge and Peterborough. St Neots launched their Integrated Neighbourhood on 7th but there are still several others due to be launched this year.

Representative Boards update

We continue to have a good number of Representatives feeding back regularly from attending the various ICB boards and committees.  Full details of these reports can be seen on our Health Alliance webpage each month.  Click here to read the latest reports.

Finally, Julie finished the meeting with an update to the members on the three projects funded by the ICB to help support the Health Alliance activities in developing the partnership. These include:

Tackling Inequalities

A meeting was held last week. A verbal summary was given on the main points discussed and agreed during the meeting. These include;

  • The data project between CAB and Healthwatch is still being compiled and scheduled to be completed by the end of March 2023.
  • The project group decided to focus on Wisbech and the Oxmoor Estate. Key focus areas identified included ‘family prevention’ and ways to engage with the local community to understand the key issues they are facing at ground level and what support they need.

Partnership Development

This project group hasn’t met yet, but high on their agenda they will be looking at the following issues;

  • Look at ways for Hunts Forum to step back from having a key role in the running of the Health Alliance, potentially recruiting a new ‘lead’ for the group from the VCSE sector.
  • Encouraging new members into the Health Alliance from across the VCSE sector
  • Set up a training programme to offer confidence skills and encourage more members to become Representatives.

Securing Funding and External Investment

This group met last week, and a verbal summary was given on the main points. These included;

  • CCVS & Hunts Forum have expanded the State of the Sector survey to include PCVS and gather data on how our VCSE sector has survived COVID; this baseline data will help the Health Alliance to target areas of work and bring VCSE groups closer together.
  • Fundraising Strategy  – Julie to contact two consultancies to write a proposal on how the VCSE sector could work collaboratively to write bid applications for funding or commissioning work.

The next meeting will be on 8th March and will be a face-to-face meeting held in Cambourne between 2 pm – 4 pm. If you would like an invite, please email debbie.drew@huntsforum.org.uk.

Health Alliance Group Update January 2023

On the 11th of January 2023, the Health Alliance group met again, face-to-face and online, via the hybrid facility at the Maple Centre.  The meeting attracted a lot of new faces and was deemed a successful way to hold the meeting and will be adopted again later in the year.


Julie Farrow, CEO of Hunts Forum, chaired the meeting.  She opened the meeting by introducing Graeme Hodgson, Adult Social Care Commissioning Manager at Cambridgeshire County Council, who came and delivered a presentation on Care Together: Happy at Home, which is a programme designed to offer support to older people to continue to live at home, with a good quality of life, for longer.

Graeme Hodgson, Care Together: Happy at Home



Care Together: Happy at Home

Graeme confirmed the launch of their new programme, Care Together, Happy at Home project.  Care Together is looking to encourage local communities and partners to design and develop local services to enable the older and less able population to fulfil their wish to remain independent at home for as long as possible.

Graeme announced that Cambridgeshire County Council is keen to work with local partners, including micro-charities and social enterprise organisations, to deliver a locally ‘place-based’ solution to reach as many ‘vulnerable ‘people in the community who need the most help & assistance.

There are four ways for the VCSE to access the Care Together funding and work with the County Council to set up the best provision for delivering the care needed.  These are:

  • Enter a bid through the new ‘opt-lead provider’ model (currently in development)
  • Apply for Seed funding for the expansion or creation of community assets supporting older people in the community. £275k funding monies will be split by locality across Fenland, East Cambs, South Cambs, Hunts & Cambridge City.
  • Apply for Capital Investment Fund for physical infrastructure, adaptions, accessibility of community spaces etc.
  • Apply for commission services via a new streamlined framework (currently in development)

Graeme explained that the Care Together project has been launched  recently and he is actively looking to work closely with Health Alliance members to gain further insights from the volunteer sector. He is keen to identify the current ‘gaps’ in areas of poor delivery and encourage micro-providers to get more involved.

Graeme’s presentation on the launch of the Care Together programme can be accessed here.

Julie confirmed we have a good number of Representatives feeding back regularly from attending the various ICB boards and committees.  Full details of these reports will be made available on the Health Alliance webpage in the next few weeks.

Finally, Julie gave a presentation updating the members on three projects funded by the ICB to help support the Health Alliance activities in developing the partnership.  Some monies from the original 200k are still available. Julie requested that members utilise this opportunity to get more involved in each project and join one of the task groups to help the group allocate the remaining monies in the best way possible.  These projects are:

  • Tackling Inequalities – £30k of funding is still available. A data project was commissioned last month with CAB and Healthwatch to look at health data figures across our region. This data will be used to identify areas of inequality, but help is still needed to target specific areas.
  • Partnership Development – £50k of funding is still available. Some of these monies will be assigned to the continued support of the admin & comms function and paying an allowance to all Representatives to cover their time. A training programme will be developed to offer confidence skills and encourage more members to become Representatives.
  • Securing Funding and External Investment – £25k of funding is still available. Two consultancts have been identified to work with the task and finish group on a Fundraising Strategy, enabling VCSE organisations to work together and enter combined bids.

The next meeting will be held on 8th February and an online meeting between 9.30 am – 11.30 am. If you would like an invite, please email debbie.drew@huntsforum.org.uk.


How will the Integrated Care System deliver the services in the community?

Introducing your Integrated Care System

Click on this video link to understand how the Integrated Care System (ICS) will operate in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and tackle critical issues like:

  • Health Inequalities
  • Access to digital care services
  • Poor recruitment in health and care roles

On 1st July 2022, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Integrated Care System (CPICS) was formed as part of a partnership between health and care organisations, local councils, and Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprises. The purpose of the partnership is to tackle big issues such as:

  • Health inequalities
  • Access to digital care services
  • Recruitment in health & care roles

The new Integrated Care Board (ICB), part of the ICS, will buy NHS services and be called NHS Cambridgeshire & Peterborough.

To enable the ICB to bring health & care decisions closer to home, they will have a North and South team who will work within their areas to address the needs of their local communities.


Covering Peterborough, Fenland and Huntingdonshire, the North is responsible for improving the health and well-being of around 575,000 people.


Covering Cambridge, South Cambridgeshire and East Cambridgeshire, the South is responsible for improving the health and well-being of around 375,000 people.

The new Integrated Neighbourhood Teams (INTs) will bring together your local health and care services.

There are 22 INTs within Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, including GP practices, pharmacies, voluntary organisations, hospitals and local councils.

For more information about your Integrated Care System, go to www.cpics.org.uk.


Health Alliance Group Update December 2022

The Health Alliance group met online on the 14th of November to update the members on the progress made by the ICS and VCSE sector in working together to deliver the goals as set out in the VCSE Strategy.

The meeting was chaired by Kathryn Shepherdson, Deputy CEO of Hunts Forum; It was good to see another healthy representation from across the voluntary sector.

Kathryn opened the meeting by introducing Nicci Briggs, Chief Financial Officer at the Integrated Care Board (ICB), who came and spoke about her role and responsibilities and how funding is transferred across the sector.




Her Role & Responsibilities

Nicci is responsible for looking after the commissioning provision across the whole landscape and the different statutory responsibilities within the Integrated Care System (ICS) regarding the commissioning & performance of providers.

She looks after £1.7 billion system spending across the health allocation covering Mental Health, Acute Primary & VCSE sector.  She sees her role as helping the ICS make decisions more quickly, offer more personalised care and remove existing barriers and boundaries that restrict care services around these critical areas:

  • Primary Care
  • Social Care Engagement
  • Service Transfer
  • End of Life/High Users

Over the next two years, her top priorities will focus on ‘Health & Equality’ within the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough region and identify more significant opportunities to address primary care issues.

Nicci explained how the Integrated Care Partnership (ICP) sits alongside the ICB and is responsible for implementing the strategic direction for Social Care and Health. They also create the Health & Wellbeing Strategy and have input into key partnerships and coalitions with community partners such as the Better Care Fund (BCF) & Adult Care Discharge Fund.

Nicci explained that they are looking at a 6% growth in Care Services and see the NHS unpicking some of their larger funds to free up additional money to focus on localised care prevention and health & equality, mainly.

The ICB has created North & South Place partnerships that will work across our region and be responsible for delivering local care services and health & equality through Integrated Neighbourhoods Teams (INT), previously Primary Care Networks (PCN)

They are still in their infancy and not fully operational throughout the County, but they will eventually look at local issues and priorities for their patch and decide what actions need to be taken.

Nicci said that are three routes for the voluntary sector organisations to inform the ICB. Nicci recommended best routes to pass on information to the ICB are:

  1. Through the Integrated Neighbourhood teams (until the North and South Place partnerships are ready – they will feed back direct to PCN).Here is a link to access all the local INT/PCN  https://cambridgeshireinsight.org.uk/health/healthcare/
  2. Forum – like the Health Alliance & other networks to gain direct access to key individuals within the ICB, like Nicci Briggs and Kit Connick, who have previously attended the Health Alliance meetings.
  3. Participate in the new voluntary sector forum the ICB is looking to launch to enable them to engage directly with the voluntary sector.

Data Collaboration Presentation

Michael Mitchel from the CAB then followed with his presentation exploring the idea of data collaboration between charities in Cambridgeshire.  This was a piece of work commissioned from an earlier meeting.   The CAB and Healthwatch agreed to collect data relating only to health and community care interaction.

Rachel Talbot and Michael asked for any feedback from Health Alliance members on what other data they might find useful.

The next meeting will be held on 11th January and a hybrid meeting (both online and face-to-face at The Maple Centre). If you would like an invite, please email debbie.drew@huntsforum.org.uk.


‘Well Together This Winter’ Initiative launched

The Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Integrated Care System (CPICS) have launched Well Together This Winter, a new one-stop shop for important information to help you stay well during the colder months.

We can all stay well together this winter by following some simple steps. Make sure you use the right service for your needs; follow simple tips around self-care like stocking up your medicine cabinet and keeping hydrated; and learn about the support that’s available to you throughout the colder months.

  • Self-care is all about doing the simple things that will help you stay well at home.
  • Pharmacists are trained people who have been through at least five years of training.
  • GP Practices now all offer remote appointments as well as face-to-face appointments.
  • NHS 111 is open 24/7, every day of the year, and offers expert advice and support to people.
  • Urgent Treatment Centres and Minor Injury Units can help with lots of different problems, including wounds, cuts and bruises, bites, minor burns, minor head injuries, eye problems and ear ache.
  • Accident and Emergency departments and 999  are for people experiencing a life-threatening emergency.  999 & A&E are here to support those people with the most serious medical issues.
  • Keeping Warm inside your home is really important. The NHS recommends that you heat your home to at least 18 degrees if you can, as this can help you stay well during the winter.
  • Warm Hubs have been opened by local councils. These are safe spaces within the community that you can come to for free to stay warm.
  • Mental Health tips for winter are free to access and useful to know as many of us may feel a little low at some points during the winter.

Visit www.cpics.org.uk/well-together to find out about the different NHS services and when to use them, mental health support, and more.

If you need help with your mental health, don’t wait – reach out now.  There are alot of national and local services available.

Local Services

  • NHS 111 option 2 is available for people who are in a mental health crisis.
  • Lifeline – 0808 808 2121 – Opens every day between 11am – 11pm.
  • CPSL Mind – 0300 303 4363 – Opens 9.30am – 5.30pm
  • Centre 33 – 0333 414 1809 – Opens 12pm – 5pm Monday to Friay and 10am – 1pm on Saturdays.

National Services

  • The Samaritans – 116 123 – Opens 24/7, every day of the year.
  • CAL M Zone – 0800 58 58 58 – Opens 5pm – midnight every day of the year

November 2022 ICS Newsletter – Let’s Talk: Your health & care campaign

The third newsletter from Cambridgeshire & Peterborough ICS was issued this month.  During November, the ICS has been busy promoting Let’s Talk: Your health & care campaign. Let’s Talk is all about gathering views of people who live and work in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough to shape the first-ever Health & Wellbeing Integrated Care Strategy.

Also, over the last month, two important strategies, the People and Communities Engagement Strategy and the Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Strategy, have been agreed upon.

You can find details on both of these strategies here.

The VCSE Strategy focuses on the positive impact our VCSE partners have on the health and wellbeing of our local people, and sets out how we can all work together to create healtheir futures for our local people and communities.  The Strategy was co-produced by the ICS, including VCSE partners, and led by the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA).   An action plan will deliver the Strategy and future updates will be shared in this newsletter.

Autumn booster and flu vaccines are now available for those over aged 50 and over – the NHS COVID-19 and flu programmes continue to protect the county ahead of winter, with our 33 million people in England eligible for a free flu vaccine this year.  This will include primary-age and some secondary-age children, who will be offered a nasal spray.

Warm Hubs will be introduced to support local people and communities who may be facing difficult challenges as we get closer to winter.  The hubs will offer a warm, friendly and inclusive environment with access to hot food, tea and coffee. The new initiative has been developed by both South and East Cambridgeshire District Councils as well as Cambridge City Council, with support from the ICS. The hubs will be coordinated by Cambridgeshire ACRE – the charity dedicated to supporting and strengthening rural communities across Cambridgeshire.   For more information on warm hubs, visit the ICS website

In other news – £5m healthcare facility has been secured for new Bourn Airfield development.  This development at the airfield will see 3,500 new homes built – leading to significant additional healthcare needs for the local community.

NHS Blood and Transport (NHSBT) has triggered an ‘amber alert’ as blood stock levels across the country have fallen to critical levels.

To follow CPICS on socials channels – click here  – Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter

Read November’s newsletter in full here


Health Alliance Group Update November 2022

The Health Alliance group met on the 9th of November in Peterborough to update the members on the continual progress being made by the ICS and VCSE sector in working together to deliver the goals as set out in the VCSE Strategy.

The meeting was chaired again by Julie Farrow, CEO of Hunts Forum and was held at 100a Central Avenue in Peterborough. It was good to see some new faces attending the meeting from across the voluntary sector.


Julie opened the meeting by introducing Jane Coulson and Katerina Lagoudaki from the Integrated Care Board (ICB), who came and spoke about the ‘Let’s Talk’ survey the ICB is currently conducting.  This survey has been developed to show insight and receive feedback from the public and voluntary sectors on key health and care issues affecting the community.  It has now been running for five weeks and is due to close this week.  The survey has received over 2200 responses so far.

The findings from this survey will add insight to the Joint Health & Wellbeing Integrated Care Strategy and help the ICS set objectives which will be included in their Operational Plan due March 2023.

The Operational Plan will focus on building the infrastructure to deliver ‘person-centred care’ within our local communities. It will lay out the following four key priorities for the ICS, which will focus on;

  • Children – ensuring children are ready to enter and exit education
  • Environment – for people to remain as healthy as possible, including outdoor spaces and access to services
  • Poverty – reducing poverty, lack of housing & debt control
  • Mental Health – finding early intervention solutions

During the meeting, Julie received approval to sign off the Terms of Reference (ToR). This document reiterates the ambition of the Health Alliance group, stipulating the membership rules and aims and goals the group wishes to achieve.

Click here to open the Terms of Reference (ToR)

We have now completed the list of Voluntary Sector Representatives who represent the VCSE sector on many of the ICS Health boards and Committees, including the contact names of the Chair & Vice Chairs (where known).

Click here to open the VCSE Representation List.

The meeting concluded with Julie highlighting two areas of work the Group is currently working on – specifically ‘Health Inequalities’ and ‘Securing Funding’.

More action was agreed upon to investigate how much funding is currently coming into the VCSE sector, where the gaps were and if any external funding opportunities were available.  Healthwatch and CAB agreed to look at what data was already held in the voluntary sector and report back to the Group.

Action points still ongoing                                                   

  1. All members agreed to forward ‘content’ that can be uploaded and shared via a regular newsletter to all members detailing key activities, events, and feedback from attending the various health boards.
  2. A few members expressed concern over their commissioning contracts, particularly the delays in renewing their contracts, with many charities forced to operate ‘as a going concern.  Julie offered to send a letter signed by CEOs expressing their collective concerns direct to the CPICS.
  3. Create a ‘slide deck’ for Reps to use at ICS Boards and Committees to support them when they represent the VCSE sector at meetings

Any other business

Due to the extra bank holiday in May, it was proposed and agreed that we would not hold a meeting during this hectic month.

The 9th  December meeting will be held online. If you would like an invite, please email debbie.drew@huntsforum.org.uk.

Health Alliance Update – the VCSE Strategy goes LIVE

We are pleased to officially announce that the Integrated Care Board has now rubber-stamped the VCSE Strategy and Memorandum of Understanding.

During the September ICB board meeting, both the ‘VCSE Strategy’ and ‘Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) were approved, signalling the official partnership between Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Integrated Care System (CPICS) and the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector.

The Strategy was commissioned and funded by the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough ICS and is jointly owned by the Directorate of Strategy and Partnership and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough VCSE CEO Network.

A glossy version of the Strategy is in final proof and will be uploaded shortly in pdf format.

The VCSE vision

This strategy sets out our vision and ambitions for partnership working and how we’ll achieve our goal of embedding the VCSE sector fully within the ICS.

Working side by side, the CPICS and VCSE communities can share a culture that enables a rebalancing of power, changing how decisions are made in health and care.

We believe this partnership will encourage a collective understanding of good working practices and partnership conduct for all parties.

The signing off of the Strategy has ensured a ‘diverse’ voice is now at the table. We can turn our attention to how the VCSE and health sector can improve their communications and focus our efforts on continuing to build a robust, inclusive and empowering relationship.

However, this Strategy is not set in stone.  While it does cover the short, medium and long-term goals, it will be revisited after 12 months to reflect changes as the CPICS develops or if the need to do so arises.  All the agreed goals are interdependent and will require ongoing collaborative working.

What is coming next?

The VCSE Health Alliance work will continue forward and focus on other key topics that have been identified to help support a vibrant and thriving VCSE.  We will continue to work to drive change, create tangible impacts on people and communities, and tackle health inequalities.

Look out over the next coming weeks for other successful initiatives, including the Staff Support Hub  (workshops and webinars for struggling staff) and task groups to focus mainly on the three key areas below;

  • Partnership Development task group
  • Tackling Inequalities task group
  • Funding and External Investment task group

If you are interested in joining one of these task groups or attending any future VSE Health Alliance meetings, please contact debbie@huntsforum.org.uk.