Promoting partnership working in the NHS

North SPF – Working in partnership during system change

North of England SPF Conference

Working in partnership to tackle the wicked issues

The North SPF held their bi-annual conference on 15 September 2017 in Horizon, Leeds - Working in partnership to tackle the wicked issues. The focus of the day for delegates was to look at shifting the balance of care from hospital to community, the pressures on the workforce and financial constraints around this and the new roles that are being developed to support the new ways of working. The meeting was chaired by Charlie Carruth, Regional Officer, Unison and Rosie Johnson, Executive Director of Workforce and OD, Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS FT. A total of 53 delegates attended including HR directors, trade unions, clinical commissioners and other key stakeholders.


  • Phillip Marshall, Director of Workforce and Organisational Development, Sharon Wilkes, Clinical Workforce Transformation Lead and Rebecca Batty, Advanced Clinical Practitioner from Harrogate and District NHS FT presented - Advance Clinical Practitioners at Harrogate and District Foundation trust
  • Jon Lenney, Director of Workforce and OD, Manchester Provider Board presented - From virtual to a new reality - the development of the Greater Manchester Local Care Organisation
  • Helen Buckingham, Senior Fellow, Nuffield Trust presented - Shifting the balance of care – challenges & opportunities
  • Phil McCarvill, Chief Advisor, NHS Confederation presented - NHS Challenges – delivering for today, transforming for tomorrow
  • – Dean Royles, Director of HR, Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust facilitated a session called - Working in partnership to tackle the wicked issues

The meeting also included a Q&A panel session with Phil McCarvill, Phillip Marshall and Helen Buckingham, together with an update from the North East SPF, North West SPF and Yorkshire and Humber SPF sub groups on their tackling bullying call to action work. 

The following actions will be taken forward by the North SPF:

  • Provide local staff side with skills development to assist their understanding of what is happening in the wider system. The North SPF will ask the national SPF to consider investing in a development day for local staff side/managers, where they can come together to think about system change and being change ready.
  • Complexity of further system change (e.g. ACS, ACO, LCOs etc.) is causing confusion within the system with lots of different groups and acronyms – update the system change jargon buster to reflect the new organisations and systems. 

You can find more information in the key communications from the event.