Vision, Mission, Underpinning Values & Business Principles

All members of the Mental Health Northants Collaboration have a shared Vision, Mission, Underpinning Values & Business Principles. Click here for a copy of our MHNC Membership Prospectus (Final) March 2017

The shared vision of the collaboration

Individuals who experience mental health problems are free from discrimination and prejudice and are valued and accepted within society.

The mission of the collaboration

Local providers working together to deliver quality services to improve mental health and well-being of individuals and families.

Underpinning Values

The following values underpin services and activities delivered through the collaboration:

  • Holistic, person-centred, non-judgmental and anti-discriminatory practice that embodies respect and empathy for individuals
  • Addressing mental health inequalities through prevention strategies
  • Linking health and social care interventions with wider community regeneration
  • Using mental health and wider well-being initiatives and projects to generate added value by promoting social cohesion, developing local social capital and building sustainable community capacity
  • Commitment to self-empowerment and enabling individuals to take control over their own lives and to be the originators and catalysts of their own mental health and well-being improvement strategies
  • Supporting individuals to identify and to fulfil their own potential
  • Encouraging mutuality through collective approaches to self-help and self-care
  • Championing and promoting social justice and equality
  • Provision of free or affordable services at the point of need
  • The work of the MHNC is governed by an unswerving commitment to the needs of end-users of the mental health services provided through member organisations. All decisions about MHNC strategy, financial objectives, joint working etc are taken from the standpoint of ensuring that client and beneficiary needs are met effectively


Core Operating Values

Voluntary and community sector focus

The collaboration is a partnership of agencies operating in the voluntary and community sector. What binds the collaborators is a clear commitment to personal and community mental health benefits and the intention to build on the value driven approach of the not-for-profit, independent sector to deliver MHNC vision.

Objectivity and impartiality

The collaboration is focused impartially upon the objective needs of all the member organisations, which are equal in status. It will not be dominated by the particular self-interests of certain organisations or individuals.

Collaboration members need to strive at all times to be open, honest and transparent in their involvement in MHNC affairs. Representatives of the collaboration are required to operate with integrity and to work for the good of the whole MHNC.

Where there are a number of member organisations that can demonstrate that they can provide activities and services in line with relevant commissioning criteria, any associated contract income secured is subcontracted to those organisations on a transparent, fair and equitable basis, proportionate to delivery capacity and subject to appropriate quality and monitoring and reporting thresholds.

Member ownership and control

The members of the collaboration own and control it. The joint venture is organised along formal lines, as an independent legal entity. A key feature of this model is member ownership.  This provides for an inclusive and dynamic partnership where members and through them, clients and end service users, are able to input ideas and shape strategy and provision on an ongoing basis.

The MHNC combines support with self-reliance. By bringing providers together in a single point of contracting, essential support and enabling infrastructure is created in the form of a central hub.  At the same time, collaboration members control the work of this hub through a democratic governance arrangement.

Influencing patterns of supply

Through creating a unified delivery mechanism, the collaboration seeks to influence the strategic direction of voluntary and community sector-sponsored mental health and social care provision throughout Northamptonshire. The collaboration gives the sector the capacity to plan and coordinate resource allocation in the most efficient and effective way, ensuring optimal provision for mental health issues.

Protecting autonomy and strengthening organisations

The collaboration has been set up as a separate legal entity with each member retaining its independence, local autonomy and accountability.  The collaboration is not designed to threaten the autonomy of individual organisations, nor is it about merging or subsuming their independence into a larger structure.

Within this, the hub is a mechanism internal to the collaboration, serving the needs of each individual member organisation, and not an external, self-serving structure.

The organisations that make up the collaboration membership base are all different, with their own special and unique ways of working designed in specific response to a particular set of circumstances and conditions in which they are operating. The collaboration will be sensitive to this diversity in implementing any strategy to standardise systems, processes and methods across the provider network.

It respects the special strengths and particular approaches of different member organisations and aims to build their capacity to become more effective as independent, locally accountable bodies, including bidding for and managing their own funds and managing their own quality improvement strategies.

Inherent dynamism and responsiveness

MHNC does not operate as a closed circle of collaborators but will be open to the potential for new members to join. This commitment to ensuring contestability will promote and safeguard vitality and dynamism within the membership.

The collaboration actively encourages member organisations to establish partnerships and networks outside of the collaboration so that they can develop their potential further.


Business Principles

The collaboration will:

  • Apply business skills and commercial principles in order to flourish as a social enterprise operating within the independent sector
  • Set clear business objectives
  • Explore and take advantage of opportunities within a planned approach, drawing on the strategic position within Northamptonshire
  • Only pursue contracting opportunities that are in the best interests of the MHNC
  • Create and use management information as an integral part of planning
  • Undertake long-range business and financial forecasting
  • Focus on outputs rather than inputs
  • Adopt a whole organisation approach to developing business awareness, skills and understanding; in other words, ensuring that business development capability is not just invested in a few individuals but embedded across the hub, board and membership
  • Recruit collaboration staff with appropriate business skills and understanding
  • Enhance the business skills of staff through Continuous Professional Development
  • Employ business and financial analytical tools (e.g. competitor analysis, breakeven analysis etc) as a natural, routine function of maintaining the collaboration
  • As part of a continuous risk management strategy:
  • Take decisions about areas of potential work and activity on the basis of sound business and financial analysis
  • Review viability of existing areas of work on an ongoing systematic basis
  • Maintain strong internal research and development capacity to underpin the analysis of the opportunities and threats within the environment and to inform business development.


The collaboration has an independent legal status and is incorporated as a charitable company.

There is a board of six members composed of chief executives or senior managers from the member organisations. In addition, three trustees are independent individuals with an interest in the delivery of public services by the voluntary and community sector. The latter will be in the form of co-options from key external stakeholder agencies and are aimed at building a strong degree of independence into the board structure.

The board meets on a regular basis and is responsible for the strategic management and direction of MHNC. Accountability for the work of the collaboration work rests wholly with the board.  The leadership and overall strength of the board is essential to the success of the collaboration as a whole.