The VCSE Review has published its final report looking at the role of the VCSE sector in improving health, wellbeing and care outcomes and how it can be best supported. The review was launched in November 2014 by the Department of Health (DH), Public Health England (PHE) and NHS England. The final report has been backed by Alistair Burt MP, minister of state for community and social care, Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England and Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of Public Health England.
The report makes recommendations for government, health and care system partners, funders, regulatory bodies and the voluntary sector. It urges local hospitals, clinical commissioning groups and councils to do more to involve charities and voluntary organisations in the design and delivery of health and care services of all kinds. The report does not focus on funding for charities; its aim is to help support the best possible health and wellbeing outcomes for individuals and communities. It says that the voluntary and statutory sectors need each other to create the local and national health systems we all need to achieve wellbeing.
Among the 28 recommendations, two (recommendations 24 and 25) are directly focused on local voluntary sector infrastructure.
Government, local infrastructure and independent funders should consider the recommendations set out in Change for Good and subsequent work from the Independent Commission on the Future of Local Infrastructure.
NHS commissioners and local authorities should consider providing funding and guidance for suitable infrastructure to better connect personal budget and personal health budget holders with a range of providers, including small and start-up organisations, and facilitate the development of a more diverse range of services accessible by and co-designed with local communities.
Neil Cleeveley, Chief Executive of NAVCA, welcomed the report saying;
“I am delighted that the review champions Change for Good, the inquiry NAVCA commissioned into the Future of Local Infrastructure and recognises that investment in infrastructure creates a more diverse range of services.”
“The report also makes clear that we all benefit if local statutory services and charities work together. I know that many CCGs, hospitals and local authorities find it difficult to contact local charities and community groups or just talk to the big health and care charities. I hope this review helps them understand the role infrastructure can play in unlocking the local voluntary sector. It can help them talk to a full range of local groups and acts as an honest broker to build strong relationships between the sectors.”