Harnessing the power of young people to transform health and social care services

By Fiona Ellison, Voluntary & Public Sector Campaign Manager, Step Up To Serve

 The #iwill campaign has developed recommendations for health and social care organisations that will enable more young people to support the vital services they provide.  Continue reading

A challenge shared…

By Brendan Hill, Chief Executive, Concern Group

The interim report published in March ably illustrated the sector’s abilities and provides examples of some great work, as well as highlighting some good local approaches where proactive organisations (VCSEs, foundation trusts, local authorities and CCGs) are developing local solutions. It also highlights the barriers preventing greater utilisation of the VCSE sector’s expertise. Below I’d like to explore the key challenges both for commissioners and VCSEs. Continue reading

Linking the European Structural and Investment Funds to the VCSE Review

By Sandra Turner, EU and International Manager, NCVO and Michael Wood, Senior European Policy Manager, NHS European Office

There are strong links between the current priorities of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) and the key themes of this review. This post focuses on the social and economic importance of improving health and well-being outcomes for excluded groups, the need for partnership working at the local level, the role of the VCSE sector in reaching and supporting those most at disadvantage and how the NHS should optimize the involvement of the VCSE sector. Continue reading

The strengths and drawbacks of grant funding – creating a sustainable funding mix

By Paul Streets OBE, Chief Executive, Lloyds Bank Foundation

It was always inevitable that the grants vs. contracts debate would rear its head in any review about statutory funding to the sector – as the Financial Sustainability Review highlighted, grants from government are at an all time low which inevitably prompts questions about what this means for charities on the ground. But it shouldn’t be a debate about one versus the other – sustainable funding needs a mix of funding sources and for us, we really worry things have gone too far one way. Continue reading

From promise to practice: strengthening partnerships with the VCSE sector

David Bull, NPC

If resources and demand are ever going to be brought into harmony, healthcare systems need to move away from the factory model of care and repair. This is the welcome dialogue that has prevailed in the context of creaking budgets, rising demand and increasingly complex needs.

So far this has resulted in some much-needed reflection and inspection of the role voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations should play in these systems—not least in the context of this review. But despite great leaps in progress, there is still more to do if we want to make the most of the opportunities that these conversations present. Continue reading

Strategic Partners – future possibilities…

Bev Taylor, Volunteering Development Manager, Public Participation Team, NHS England

I can’t help thinking that it would be great to develop the Strategic Partner Programme in new ways and harness the considerable resources of strategic partners to directly support the VCSE sector with the considerable challenges that the health and care system presents.

Continue reading