Twinning Collaborations

The Community Whole Life Whole Systems Twinning Collaboration Convention brings together people and organisations that wish to learn from each other in a reciprocal ways that address the following:

  • identifying areas of good practice based on our philosophy, values and practice
  • agreeing areas of common interest in service development that promote de-institionalisation and whole life, whole community, whole systems approaches
  • overcoming the barriers of thinking, practice and organisation that prevent progress in achieving a whole life for people

The convention has has been developed and supported by IMHCN members over the last eight years and has proven to be an effective way of  introducing new ways of working.

The Twinning involves two or three organisations who have identified a common agenda for change and development. 

The organisations develop a programme for study visits where workers, service users and family members spend time examining the day to day operation of each other services.

Lessons learnt by the study groups about the visited services are then discussed and shared with a wider group of colleagues and managers within their respective organisations.

Consideration is then given by participating  organisations to the application of the learnt thinking and practice within their local services. 

A  partnership agreement is then established and overseen by a joint steering group from members of participating services.

An implementation plan is agreed between the participating services that sets out the process of change that is needed to bring about the new ways of thinking and practice.

The Member organisations in these Twinning Convention Collaborations hold progress meetings, workshops and host conferences in the development of this work and agreement with each other and with the wider IMHCN membership.

Over 1 to 2 years the Twinned Services continue to work together, exchange workers on placements, provide mentoring and support to each other including joint training, seminars and Action Learning Sets..

These programmes have been developed in the UK, Denmark, France, Italy and Serbia.

In 2015 a new Twinning Collaboration Convention has been established between Trieste Mental Health Service Department, Italy and Hywel Dda University Health Board, Wales. See agreement here.

 Example of Twinning Collaboration Convention

Cornwall Partnershop NHS Trust, Plymouth Community Healthcare and Devon Partnership NHS Trust with Trieste Health Agency, 2010

The Twinning Collaboration Convention includes the following:

  1. To produce a common data base for each organization to include the population they serve, the services offered and the present service usage  indicators data.
  2. To exchange documents on clinical policies and practices, the organization’s vision and philosophy, good practices and other useful material.
  3. Together develop social inclusion projects and initiatives re. work opportunities, housing, education sport, leisure and culture.
  4. To examine the desirability and possibility of developing comprehensive 24 hour integrated acute and crisis models of service.
  5. To exchange good practice in whole life recovery approaches and training programmes.
  6. Comparing and learning from the work in each organization on improving the pathways of care for service users and family members.
  7. To exchange the experiences of caring for and treating people with Dementia and the service configurations in each organization.
  8. To examine the various policies and practice arrangements for different client groups from the literature and other service providers in the UK and Europe (re. elderly, children, people with learning disabilities, ethnic minorities, refugees etc).
  9. To further develop integration between health and social care by exploring new means, pooled budgets, personailsed payments etc.
  10. In the area of social inclusion, to share and compare examples of supported housing.

Further Information

Organisations that would like more information and how to become a Twinning Convention partner should contact John Jenkins,CEO of IMHCN at

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