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Supporting the development and implementation of 
a National first -
The Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Provider Collaborative

ANHH are thrilled to announce that over the past 12 months, since April 2022, our team have supported the development and implementation of the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Provider Collaborative - a National first.


This collaboration has brought together providers of mental health services, including Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust (BSMHFT), Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Foundation Trust (BWC), and more than 100 organisations from the Voluntary, Community, Faith, and Social Enterprise sector (VCFSE sector) as partners. Birmingham City Council (BCC) and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council (SMBC) are associate partners.

The provider collaborative is the first formalised arrangement outlined in the Integrated Care Systems Inception Framework with Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust receiving a transfer of commissioning responsibility from the Integrated Care Board (ICB). Accountability and oversight is retained by the ICB.

Learn more about our involvement in the MHPC project in this short video.

Learn more about our involvement in the MHPC project, through the perspective of Sindy Jones and Andrew Hughes in their blogs.


The partners have a shared ambition that people with specialist mental health needs experience high quality, specialist care, as close to home as appropriately possible, connected to local teams and support networks. By working in collaboration, they are striving to provide better mental healthcare for the population of Birmingham and Solihull.

The collaborative model will be replicated for adult acute, children’s and women’s. and community services over the coming years.


  • Improved access to vital services, reduced health inequalities, and better value for money

  • As a national first, ANHH has produced a working collaboration model that others can follow and apply

Meet the ANHH Team.png

How did ANHH build better governance and oversee this extensive project? 

ANHH are experts in both the mechanics and the dynamics of governance. Any new partnership, even if it is between organisations that already work together, needs to have clear structures and processes (mechanics - “the what”) and to be founded in trust and mutual respect (dynamics - “the how”).

We were commissioned to provide governance expertise and to act as Programme Director for all workstreams. We joined the team in April 2022, by which time the partners had already produced a Case for Change and had an established Programme Board.

12 month road map

Our activities in the subsequent 12 months are summarised in the Road Map below. There was a complex mix of document production, governance design, debate and resolution, testing and re-testing, authorisations, approvals and agreements.

It tested our knowledge, experience, innovation, and ways of working.

Please click on the road map image below to magnify the illustration.

MHPC 12 month roadmap

A summary of our work

The Birmingham and Solihull Integrated Care Board (ICB) was established in July 2022, part way through the journey, and this caused inevitable hiatus and minor changes in direction. The ICB was the approving body for the delegation, and created an Assurance Framework to inform its decision.

Every phase of the process was delivered on time, which allowed the ICB’s approval in January 2023 and a period of shadow governance and operation before the MHPC went live on 3 April 2023.

Looking back, it is astounding to list the overwhelming amount of work that we delivered and led - and we are pretty convinced we will have forgotten things:

  • Weekly Programme Director Highlight Reports

  • Weekly Programme Team meetings, which we administered

  • Weekly BSMHFT Project meetings

  • Weekly Highlight Reports for the ICB executive team

  • Monthly meetings of the Executive Steering Group, People Culture & Leadership Group, Finance Commissioning & Contracting Group, Quality & Safety Oversight Group, VCFSE Forums, and MHPC Transition Group - many of which we administered

  • Design of the MHPC governance architecture, over multiple iterations

  • Production of terms of reference, cycle of meetings, and cycles of business for all forums in the MHPC governance

  • Design of the Lead Provider (BSMHFT) governance architecture, including an innovative Commissioning Committee, comprising the “Board in Committee”

  • Refresh of BSMHFT’s Standing Financial Instructions and Scheme of Delegation, to reflect the Trust’s new role as a commissioner

  • Refresh and expansion of BSMHFT’s Constitution to create Standing Orders for the Commissioning Committee

  • Briefing and awareness raising of Governors over several months to ensure BSMHFT’s Council of Governors’ approval to the Significant Transaction

  • Board development and briefing of BSMHFT’s Unitary Board Taskforce to ensure mutual understanding and awareness of the Trust’s additional responsibilities

  • Detailed developmental work with the VCFSE Sector, including governance training, to embed the sector’s position in the MHPC

  • Production of terms of reference and Articles of Association for the new VCFSE Collective, which formally coalesced more than 100 separate organisations

  • Drafting and redrafting of key partnership documents, including the Partnership Agreement, Memorandum of Understanding, and Information Sharing Protocol to ensure signature prior to go-live

  • Creation of a Commissioning Board Assurance Framework, owned by BSMHFT’s Board in Committee

  • Creation of a Lead Provider Risk Register, to identify and manage operational risks associated with the commissioning role

  • Workshops to co-produce pre and post go-live Partnership Risk Registers, and then continuous monitoring of the trajectory to target scores

  • Co-ordinating authorship and editing of the Integrated Delivery Plan, in two successful phases

  • Creation and monitoring of delivery against the Mobilisation Plan, which described key activities to enable go-live (we completed delivery on version 28)

  • Creation of the Development Plan, which describes the partners' agreed priorities for the first 12-18 months of the collaborative (we signed off on version 11)

  • Facilitation of two Wicked Problems Workshops to test and refine the governance architecture using real life scenarios

  • And, of course, thousands of emails, Teams calls, phone calls, and heads in hands!

We can’t wait for the next one!

Helen Wadley, Chief Executive, Birmingham Mind and Chair of BSol VCFSE Mental Health Collaborative and Panel

This level of organisation across a diverse sector does not just happen. I pay tribute to ANHH for all their support to us over the last year.  We would never have achieved what we have achieved without them.

Andrew and the team have worked really hard to ensure that the VCFSE is formally represented in the MHPC, and have actively supported the sector to organise itself, helping deliver Terms of Reference and providing some really helpful training.

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The MHPC collaboration

This collaboration has brought together providers of mental health services and councils including the following:-

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