This site is intended for Healthcare Professionals only

Place-based partnerships explained

Running Your Business

Place-based partnerships explained

As well as the new focus within the NHS at system level, community pharmacies could now find themselves in an area known as a ‘place-based partnership’. These collaborative arrangements between the organisations responsible for arranging and delivering health and care services and those
with a role in improving health and wellbeing are key building blocks of integrated care systems (ICSs) and play an important role in co-ordinating local services and driving improvements in population health. 

Now a new briefing from the King’s Fund, written by senior policy fellow Chris Naylor and senior advisor Anna Charles, lifts the lid on the 175 or so place-based partnerships in England, typically covering populations of around 250-500,000 people – significantly smaller than the populations covered by ICSs. The briefing is a great place to start for those wanting to know more. 

It suggests that smaller, place-based partnerships within ICSs are better suited to designing and delivering changes in services to meet the distinctive needs and characteristics of local populations, often matching the area covered by an upper-tier or unitary local authority. “This means that in many areas, place is the level at which most of the work to join up budgets, planning and pathways for health and social care services will need to happen,” it says. 

Place-based partnerships typically involve the NHS, local government and other local organisations with responsibilities for planning and delivering services, such as voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector organisations and social care providers. They may also include or work alongside other community partners with an influence on health and wellbeing, such as schools, emergency services and housing associations, and work with people who use services, their carers and local residents.  

Unlike ICSs, place-based partnerships are not statutory bodies, leaving flexibility for local areas to determine their form and functions: “Within places, even more localised arrangements are being established around ‘neighbourhoods’, where multi-agency teams can come together to deliver better joined-up, proactive and personalised care, building on the work of primary care networks.” 

In short, the briefing says that place-based partnerships exist to make more effective use of the combined resources available within a local area. The specific priorities of each place-based partnership will vary, depending on the vision and goals agreed locally by partners to complement the work of their ICS, and vice versa

“In principle,” it says, “the ‘system’ tier focuses on strategic planning, overseeing overall resources and performance, planning specialist services and driving strategic improvements in areas such as workforce planning, digital infrastructure and estates. In contrast, place-based partnerships tend to be more focused on delivering tangible service change and engaging directly with communities – particularly in relation to community services, social care and primary care, and to tackle the wider factors that influence health and drive inequalities.”

Copy Link copy link button

Running Your Business