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Take a look at Tapping the Potential, the latest publication from our Doing the Right Thing programme - an approach to building meaningful collaboration between the voluntary sector and public bodies.

Researched and authored by New Philanthropy Capital, and generously supported by the Health Foundation and Guy's and St Thomas' Charity, Tapping the Potential captures learning from the initial stages of our collaborative work in Somerset. This includes success factors for collaboration, consideration of collaboration challenges, and reflections for local and national decision-makers beyond Somerset.

Most people who work in health and care are driven by a passion to make things better for people. We agree that services should be preventative, should focus more on what people want and need to lead better, healthier lives, and should draw more effectively on the strength of partnerships and places. And yet the inspiring practice we find in some places, remains at the margins of our health and care system as a whole.

We know that making change happen at scale is hard. We wanted to understand better why this is, and to see what we could achieve if we collaborate. And we've been delighted to see our commitment to collaborate – across the Richmond Group charities, and with Public Health England – matched by the Somerset Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP), South West Academic Health Science Network and wider Somerset Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector.

Our work in Somerset is far from done, but we've learned a lot so far. Some of the headlines will probably resonate with your experiences...

  •  Coming to collaboration with no pre-conceived ideas about products or providers unlocks a different kind of conversation on all sides.
  •  Turning an open-ended conversation between the voluntary sector and public bodies into a productive collaboration requires resource.
  •  Collaboration benefits from bridging organisations – like the Richmond Group – and people who make it their job to connect divergent cultures, languages, and priorities.
  • ​Voluntary sector leadership can offer both agility and stability to place-based collaborations (such as Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships) in an ever-changing healthcare landscape.

...but Tapping the Potential provides useful learning and ideas for collaboration beyond Somerset.

You can join us at lunchtime on Friday 23rd February for an online discussion about the report and what we’ve learned so far, by registering here.

  •  Michael Bainbridge, Head of Primary Care, NHS Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group
  •  David Buck, Senior Fellow, The King's Fund
  •  Charlotte Augst, Partnership Director, Richmond Group of Charities
  • ​ Richard Taunt, Part of Kaleidoscope Health & Care

We're holding our discussion in partnership with Kaleidoscope, a social enterprise set up to bring people together to improve health and care.

Whether you are working in the NHS, voluntary sector, local government, or wider public services, we hope you can join us for this discussion about how collaboration can improve outcomes for people and populations. 

You are also invited to join the #TappingthePotential conversation on Twitter, where we'll be sharing and discussing our learning throughout the week.