In January 2012, UK Work Organisation Network (UKWON) was commissioned to carry out a stocktake of the national SPF. This built on the previous stocktakes carried out in 2008 and 2009. The 2012 stocktake looked at how the SPF operates currently and how it can remain effective in the future.
Members of the SPF fed into the stocktake through an online questionnaire, interviews and also a workshop which was held on 14 March 2012.
The report highlights a number of positives, expressed by partners, on how the SPF currently operates:
- It helps build relationships, mutual understanding and opportunities to identify shared objectives.
- It gives employers and trade unions access to Ministers and senior policymakers.
- This in turn allows policymakers to test propositions at an early stage as well as engaging in dialogue designed to facilitate smooth implementation of health policy.
Notable successes mentioned in the report include the recent flu fighters campaign and the work of the HR Transition Partnership Forum which involves partners in the development of HR guidance to ensure fairness and transparency in the current re-organisation of the health service.
In addition to identifying what has worked well and can be built on, the stocktake made recommendations for improving the forum in terms of practical arrangements, widening membership to new emerging organisations, improving communications and embedding partnerships throughout the system.
The SPF Embedding Subgroup has produced an action plan to take forward the key recommendations; this has been endorsed by the SPF Steering Group.
Earlier SPF stocktakes
In 2008/09 SPF commissioned the Involvement and Participation Association (IPA) to conduct a full review of partnership working in the NHS, including arrangements nationally, regionally and locally.
In 2009/10, we commissioned ACAS to conduct a stocktake of the national Social Partnership Forum.
Both stocktakes picked up a number of positives about national partnership arrangements including:
- Support from senior colleagues at the highest levels from all partners
- Effective and efficient secretariat and project management
- Strategic issues dealt with
- A move over time from inception and confidence-building to well formed relationships and dealing with difficult issues
- Delivery of a number of projects over the past three years, very outcome focused.
The full stocktake reports have been archived.