Last year the Yorkshire and Humber Public Services Network (YHPSN) joined iNetwork, enabling 65 organisations to engage in iNetwork’s programme of activity. A year on from joining forces, organisations from Yorkshire and Humber are embedded into the iNetwork partnership, regularly attending events, speaking at events, joining Network Leadership Groups and submitting nominations for our annual innovation awards. Members of YHPSN are represented in each of the four leadership groups, contributing directly to support delivery in each programme area. In addition, nearly half of the YHPSN’s member organisations have been involved or attended events organised by the iNetwork in the last calendar year. It has been an encouraging start to the collaboration between the two organisations and we are keen to develop further in 2022-23.

The partnership between YHPSN and iNetwork has grown as a result of a close working relationship, with the leadership team from each organisation meeting monthly to discuss progress and activity. For delivery in 2022-23, we have been working closely with YHPSN to ensure our focuses are aligned and cover the topics that matter to public sector colleagues. Over the past few months, the programme Stakeholder Engagement Managers (SEMs) have been working with their Network Leadership Groups to put together programme delivery plans. Each of the three programmes: Connected Procurement and Commissioning (CPC), Effective Information Sharing & Security (EISS) and Transforming and Innovating Public Services (TIPS), all have agreed delivery plans which set out priorities and proposed themes to explore throughout the year. YHPSN have also been working on a work plan to guide their delivery for 2022 -23 and although developed separately, they share multiple similarities. The close alignment creates opportunities for co-production of content and events as well information sharing across both of the memberships. Key crossovers between iNetwork and YHPSN are detailed below:

ICS Reform

YHPSN is looking to explore how the reform will develop new models of place-based working and how best the partnership can support these changes. Similarly, iNetwork will analyse Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to Integrated Care Systems (ICS) via our webcast series iN The Loop, with an episode scheduled to examine the challenges and explore the range of terminology used when discussing ICS reform.

Digital Systems and Skills

There is a focus within the YHPSN work plan on digital, specifically on infrastructure, systems and skills. One of the priorities looks at how digital skills need to be developed and retained within the public sector, which iNetwork is looking to explore across all programmes. In addition, there are multiple crossovers with the TIPS programme which has a specific priority on digital innovation and organises a quarterly partnership that highlights projects with a digital inclusion focus.

Hybrid Working

Adapting to changes in the work environment, in particular, a blended approach to working from home and the office has been a common theme of discussion for the past 18 months. YHPSN and iNetwork are taking similar approaches to the issue, aiming to capture how approaches to hybrid working from members vary and different issues can be overcome through sharing best practice.

Effective Procurement and Contract Management

There is a direct alignment between the work plan theme identified by YHPSN and the CPC programme at iNetwork. Both organisations note the importance of looking at social value within contracts and how to get best value out of suppliers for the public sector. In 2022-23 YHPSN and iNetwork aim to develop specific sub-groups for information sharing for procurement professionals.

Sustainability and the Carbon Neutral Agenda

YHPSN aims to assess where organisations are on their journey with the carbon neutral agenda, looking into the role technology plays in supporting sustainability. The CPC similarly has a priority that supports the carbon neutral agenda by looking at environmental sustainability. In addition the iNetwork is co-leading “Net Zero Week” with YPO in June 2022, which last year explored the role of procurement in meeting Net Zero targets.

The iNetwork team are looking forward to continuing the working relationship with YHPSN and raising awareness of the big challenges in the public sector across both the North West, Yorkshire and Humberside and beyond.