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The Core20PLUS5 Community Connector Programme

About National Voices’ role in the Core20PLUS5 Connectors Programme.

  • Health inequalities
  • Integrated care
  • Lived experience

What is the Core20PLUS5 approach?

Core20PLUS5 is a national NHS England approach designed to inform action to reduce healthcare inequalities at both national and system level. It can be broken down into three parts:

  • The ‘Core20’ represents the 20% of people in England who experience the greatest socioeconomic inequality.
  • The ‘PLUS’ represents groups identified by Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) who experience poorer than average access, experience or outcomes from healthcare.
  • The ‘5’ represents the clinical areas with the greatest opportunities to narrow the current gap in life expectancy due to healthcare inequalities.

The Connectors Programme

The Core20PLUS Connectors programme is part of the support framework for progressing the goals of Core20PLUS5. The programme funds ICSs to recruit, mobilise and support influential community connectors to take practical action to improve health and reduce inequalities across the clinical priorities outlined in the Core20PLUS5 approach for adults and children and young people.

Connectors are those with influence in their community who can help engage local people with health services. Offering unique insight into the barriers people living in their communities face, connectors are ideally placed to advise local NHS services on how these can be overcome and what makes a good service.

Our role in supporting the Connectors programme

National Voices is proud to support SCW to deliver the Core20PLUS5 Connectors Programme, working closely alongside the Health Inequalities Improvement team at NHS England and The Health Creation Alliance

Throughout the life of the programme, we have led on the facilitation and delivery of a series of learning and support sessions for ICSs, voluntary sector organisations and Connectors. These sessions have been created to build safe spaces for reflection and peer learning, as well as to support Connector sites with any challenges they have faced.

Alongside this, we have matched 13 senior leaders across ICSs in Voices for Improvement coaching relationships with people with lived experience of health conditions and inequality. In these coaching relationships, senior leaders have been supported to explore, reflect and learn about how to enact meaningful change through strategic co-production in their roles and to think through resetting relationships, rebalancing power and its effects on health outcomes.

“I just wanted to put on record my personal thanks to Sandra for being my coach these past few months. I have enjoyed the sessions immensely, learnt a lot about myself and taken away some really useful approaches that I am using and adapting daily. I am so grateful to have been matched with Sandra – we have had very open, honest conversations, she put me at ease, always I felt so uplifted after the sessions, I have been listened to and reflected back some invaluable insights. Absolutely invaluable, please do pass on my thanks”

Senior ICS leader

National Learning Event for Core20Plus Connectors Sites

In February 2024, National Voices, supported by the NHS England Health Inequalities Improvement Team, SCW, and The Health Creation Alliance, held a national learning event for the Core20PLUS Connectors Programme. This event was an opportunity for Connectors, participating voluntary sector organisations and representatives from Integrated Care Systems and Boards to come together, hear learning from other Connector sites, network and take part in learning sessions. Watch the event below.