Final report published

The final report of the VCSE Review has been published.

The report, based on the largest ever review of the voluntary sector’s involvement in statutory health and social care, urges local hospitals, clinical commissioning groups and councils to do more to involve expert charities in the design and delivery of services of all kinds.

The report includes 28 recommendations which have been jointly agreed by the Department of Health, Public Health England and NHS England.

Alex Fox, who chaired the review has written an article summarising the findings.

Download the full report or download a short version comprising the vision and recommendations.

Collaboration around the needs of people not the needs of bureaucracies

Barbara Gelb OBE, Chief Executive, Together for Short Lives

If ever there was a need to build understanding, partnership and collaboration acrossCapture sectors then it is now. But this collaboration must be centred around people not built round bureaucracies.

As we mark Children’s Hospice Week, the publication of the VCSE Review final report is both timely and welcome but, like many, I hope the positive words and reflections move quickly into clear and beneficial actions. Continue reading

PPG volunteers lead successful social prescribing clinic pilot

Ben Smith, Policy Development Officer, Voluntary Action LeicesterShire (VAL)

In April 2015, West Leicestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (WLCCG) commissioned Voluntary Action LeicesterShire (VAL) to manage and deliver a social prescribing pilot based at the Rosebery Medical Centre in Loughborough.  The aim of the pilot was to introduce a social prescribing service within a single GP practice and to provide some insight into the range of factors that are key to its implementation. West Leicestershire CCG also agreed to provide funding for the Voluntary and Community Sector services available through social prescribing to increase the sustainability of the service. Continue reading

Could a Contract and Investment Readiness Programme be a tool for the VCSE sector to thrive in the changing health and social care landscape?

Daria Kuznetsova, Strategy and Market Development Director, Big Society Capital

The Investment and Contract Readiness Fund was a programme set up in 2013 to enable promising charities and social enterprises compete for public service contracts and secure other forms of investment.  Organisations can get advice on business planning, modelling, bid writing or impact measurement. To date ICRF has spent £13.2m and supported 155 ventures, both small and large. Half the ventures supported by ICRF successfully secured at least one contract or investment as a result of the support they received with the total value of contracts and investment raised through the support being £233m. One example is FCMS which is a social enterprise providing urgent health and wellbeing services. Through the ICRF programme they received financial modelling and HR advice which was instrumental to securing a £9m bid.

So what is the relevance to the VCSE review tasked with exploring how the sector can build sustainability and capacity whilst maximising and demonstrating its impact? Continue reading

A new approach for VCSE infrastructure

John Gillespie and Gemma Cossins, Tower Hamlets Council for Voluntary Service

We think that the infrastructure sector can be more confident about what we can do, and less defensive. In many ways we don’t know how good we are, and don’t always have confidence in our capacities. However this does not mean that we don’t recognise a need to change. Continue reading

The Voluntary Sector: adding a certain Spice

David Russell, Head of Policy, Spice

Most people in our communities do not spend time pondering public service reform and which organisation or service is funded from which source. They want healthy and happy lives for themselves and the people they care about. For us this is a key to how we plan and design our work and is central to the way we aim to work with public services and would like public services to work with us. Continue reading

The role of the VCSE sector in co-producing new models of health and care

Sandra van der Feen, Health Policy Officer, London Voluntary Service Council (LVSC)

In June this year, I produced an article following on from our Whole Systems Change: co producing new models of health and care event in April. The event highlighted how co-production could bring about more effective partnerships between the sectors and potentially more funding opportunities for the VCSE sector. One of the issues raised was about the lack of funding going to the VCSE sector when GPs prescribe a patient or carer to a VSCE social prescribing project. Continue reading