The challenge

As is the case for place-based partnerships across the country, Hammersmith and Fulham Health and Care Partnership (HFHCP) were looking to establish, develop and embed partnership and integrated working following the implementation of the Health and Care Act 2022. 

Leaders of HFHCP recognised that developing a ‘sense of place’ or a ‘place identity’ alongside the more practical steps towards collaboration between organisations and with communities, would be key to the development of place-based working in Hammersmith and Fulham. 

From 2022-2023, we worked with HFHCP to develop and consolidate a clear vision, shared culture and narrative for the Partnership that celebrates the unique contribution that each individual resident, member of staff, team and organisation brings, whilst uniting people under a common identity built on the principle that partners are ’Better Together’.​ Our work was guided by 3 core aims: 

  1. Make the Health and Care Partnership ‘real’ for people by defining a clear ‘sense of place’ for people to rally around.
  2. Give people spaces to think innovatively about the Partnership’s development and build widespread, positive momentum around this.
  3. Create psychological safety so that people can raise challenges and competing priorities, and then work through these to find creative, impactful solutions.

“Everything starts with a conversation – it’s as simple as that”

Workshop participant

Our approach 
  1. Designing a place identity

We worked with staff and local people to develop a recognisable visual identity for HFHCP that communicated the Partnership’s values and provided something tangible for people to rally around. ​This took the form of creative workshops. The first set of workshops asked people about their aspirations for the Partnership, and the second explored ways to visualise and articulate key themes. We brought these ideas to life through identity design and branding. ​The new identity encapsulates three core themes: 1) we are better together, 2) we make connections and overcome challenges together, and 3) we are vibrant and energised. ​

  1. Building momentum

If organisational or system change is fundamentally about two things, changing ‘what’ people do and ‘how’ they do it, the socialisation of HFHCP’s new identity tackled the latter; it was an opportunity to change people’s attitudes towards the Partnership and (re)connect people around a shared narrative and purpose. We ran a system-wide event to launch the new HFCHP identify, with a wide range of partners in attendance. This event helped connect people as an ‘in-group’, encouraged people to drive change forward themselves, and asked people to think more innovatively about the next stages of partnership development within a permissive space. ​

  1. Finding creative solutions

Throughout this process, we also made time to reflect on progress with system leaders. Through these discussions we identified areas for more targeted organisational development interventions. These interventions focused on enabling change ‘on the ground’, working within the HFHCP’s Priority Area programmes and leadership groups to support people at all levels to deliver on the Partnership’s vision. We co-designed new ways of working and formalised these in Team Charters which fostered greater ownership and accountability amongst staff, helped people at all levels build high-trust relationships and made meetings effective spaces for healthy debate. 

“Sometimes it’s less about being the expert and more about being open to working together, bringing people on board to solve problems creatively and making teamwork fun.”

Workshop participant

Our impact

This work helped to align HFHCP’s leaders around a shared vision and fostered stronger working relationships both within leadership groups and beyond. It also created more permissive spaces for innovative thinking around partnership working, not just for leaders, but also for staff, VCS representatives and local people.