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One Croydon Alliance is a partnership between the local NHS, Croydon Council and the VCSE (voluntary, community and social enterprise) sector.

It seeks to offer a more coordinated approach to support, to help look after people’s physical and mental health and well-being. A locality commissioning model is shifting power and resource to voluntary, community and social enterprise partners.

This video (from E3M’s recent relational commissioning webinar) features Bianca Byrne, Director of Commissioning, Improvement and Policy, Croydon Council, and Laura Jenner, Deputy Director, One Croydon Alliance.


The One Croydon Alliance started in 2017. One Croydon Alliance partners are Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group, Croydon Council,the Croydon GP Collaborative, the South London and the Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, and Age UK Croydon. A ten-year contract sets out its programme.

Initially its work focused on supporting the elderly population with programmes directed at independent living. This has broadened to preventative programmes for the entire population, and work to tackle inequalities and develop a stronger health and social care system.

One Croydon Alliance was shortlisted in two categories (System Leadership Initiative of the Year, and the Health and Local Government Partnership Award) of the Health Service Journal Awards, which recognise outstanding contributions to health and social care. Its work has helped people stay independent for longer.

In January 2021, The One Croydon Alliance was named one of six health partnerships in England to benefit from funding through The Healthy Communities Together programme, established by The King’s Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund.

The funding is supporting partnership-working between the voluntary and community sector, the NHS and local authorities to help them make the most of their combined capability to improve the health of their communities.

Key details

The video above covers how the partnership has involved educating the health sector regarding the capacity and expertise of the voluntary and community sector.

Funding from the Healthy Communities Together programme is helping to build on the work already done and engage more with voluntary and community groups, develop partnerships, and develop preventative services.

A wide programme of engagement helped identify priority actions:

  • ensuring residents, communities and the VCSE are involved in the design and delivery of commissioning plans,
  • creating a community prevention offer,
  • ensuring voluntary groups have a strong voice in the Alliance, and its governance helps grassroots organisations have a voice, not just large VCSE organisations.

Three workstreams (Empowerment and Engagement, Leadership and Representation and Funding and Commissioning), and appropriate governance structures, were created to mirror the programmes the alliance sought to deliver. In the video above, Bianca gives more details of:

  • outcomes metrics and measurements,
  • a spend analysis of health and care spending within the local system and what is in scope to commission from voluntary and community sector partners – “it’s not only the money, it’s also the power,”
  • key challenges and how these are mitigated,
  • the locality commissioning model,
  • key achievements and next steps.

What next?

Case studies of purpose-aligned partnerships

Examples of successful public service community partnerships delivering a variety of public services. See them here.

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Example documentation, contracts, processes and agreements you can access – or use as a checklist as you progress your partnerships. These practical models and outlines include a set of social value imperatives.

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