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ICB Mental Health Transformation Workshops

Mental health charity leaders have been part of two transformation workshops within the integrated care system for Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West (BOB ICS). 

The Alliance’s action group has nominated its chair, Andrea McCubbin from Bucks Mind, to the partnership board and its vice-chair, Rebekah Sammut from One-Eighty – turning lives around to its transformation committee. BOB ICS is one of nine England-wide Innovator schemes to develop mental health provider collaboratives. 

The Alliance has also received some additional funding from NHS England to sustain VCSE participation as the Provider Collaborative develops through 2024. 

Rebekah Sammut presented an explainer of the VCSE sector’s role in mental health provision at the second workshop on 14th December 2023 in Oxford (see bottom of this page to view the presentation). 

With input from 100 health care, local government and VCSE leaders over the two workshops, the themes emerging to date have been: 

  • Co-production must be at the heart of what we do and needs to be resourced  
  • Prevention is key and must form a part of any work we take forward 
  • VCSE sector has a wealth of rich experience and we must think about the role they can play in supporting/leading this work 
  • Health checks alone are not the right focus, we need to think about the ‘so what’ 
  • Sharing of data is critical in getting this right  

The voice of people with lived experience has been absent to date, we must now test the thinking to date with these individuals including by working through VCSE sector. 


The potential and actual role of VCSE partners comes through in some of the notes and presentations. Mind in Berks, for example, had been working with Berkshire Health Care to understand through community engagement why a disproportionate number of Black individuals are being detained by the Trust under the Mental Health Act. 

The Trust’s Medical Director, Dr. Minoo Irani has said:We know this is a persistent and unacceptable inequality and we plan to address it.” Find out more. 


The mental health transformation committee will consider these themes and more detailed feedback this month and the Alliance’s mental health action group will touch base at its 25th January 2024 meeting. 

Neurodiversity, in terms of adaptation of mental health services, came through strongly as a priority in the first November workshop so the Alliance’s Learning Disabilities and Autism action group will also be covering the MH transformation journey on 18th January 2024. 

Andrea McCubbin, Gita Lobo and Rebekah Sammut said: 

“We were pleased to be among the six charity leaders all involved with the BOB VCSE Health Alliance and have attended two BOB mental health transformation workshops: it’s great that BOB is among the national innovators for provider collaboratives. As the provider collaborative develops in 2024, we want to ensure that the diverse voices of lived experience are heard and that the NHS and charities work together to enable the pro-active and preventative role of local community groups to be more visible and equipped to complement formal mental health interventions by the NHS .”

Alex Gild, Deputy Chief Executive at BHFT and Amelie Bages, Executive Director of Strategy and Partnerships at OHFT: 

We are incredibly pleased that as part of the Provider Collaborative innovator scheme NHSE have recognised the valuable role that our VCSE partners play in supporting system working.  VCSE organisations can uniquely support our provider collaborative with expertise and links to people and communities to support co-design and delivery of health and care services.  Over the coming months we will be working with our partners to explore their role in the developing collaboration opportunities as all as further developing relationships across the system to deliver better outcomes for our residents.” 

The Alliance’s next mental health action group will be held on 25 January and will take these discussions forward.

Please contact stephen@communityimpactbucks.org.uk if you wish to attend. 

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