From Providers to Partners: What will it take?

A number of CJVSF members and partners participated in this year’s CCPS conference:Providers as Partners- Redefining Relationships for an Integrated World.  This two day event examined the range of public services reforms both planned and under way, considering them from the perspective of their potential to refresh and redefine relationships for third sector providers both with commissioners and with the people they support.  Sessions included topics such as Public Social Partnerships; alternative funding models; workforce engagement; changing relationships in joint strategic commissioning; working with Third Sector Interfaces and learning from the early implementation of Self-directed Support.

The conference also saw the launch of a new report which CCPS co-published withCollaborate, an organisation specialising in cross-sector working in public services.  This report “From Providers to Partners: What will it take” examines the question of how to shift relationships between commissioners and providers in to the territory of real collaboration.   

New, collaborative relationships between commissioners and providers, focused on delivering the principles of the Christie Commission, can be achieved through a mixture of practical action, changes in culture and behaviour, and a willingness to work with each other in different ways, according to the report.  Dr Henry Kippin, the report’s author, and his colleagues interviewed more than fifty leaders from provider organisations, commissioning authorities, the senior civil service and user-led organisations over the course of summer 2014. The recommendations in the report included the establishment of a Collaborative Leadership Hub for commissioning partners and the development of a local prototype exploring more collaborative alternatives to competitive tendering.

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