The Department of Health, Public Health England, NHS England and representatives of the VCSE sector (voluntary, community and social enterprise sector) have been working together to review how government invests in the VCSE sector in health and care.
From January to March 2015 they collected views from across the voluntary sector on how funding the sector can support a preventative, community-based health and care system.
They specifically looked at the following three areas:
- Defining, achieving, and demonstrating impact
- Building capacity and staying sustainable
- Promoting equality and addressing health inequalities
An interim report has been published reflecting on the findings to date. Around 4,500 people and organisations have been engaged with and asked how the statutory and VCSE sectors could better work together.
Key messages in the report include:
- Current approaches to partnering with, funding, and commissioning the VCSE sector are not creating an environment in which better health and wellbeing outcomes are likely to be achieved at either a national or local level.
- Parts of the sector, such as smaller organisations, and those with an infrastructure or equalities function are particularly challenged by current approaches, and have experienced a disproportionate loss of funding.
- At times commissioners do not recognise the multiple outcomes and wider value that VCSE organisations deliver.
The report includes a consideration of impact of VCSE organisations on national health and wellbeing, the challenges facing commissioners when attempting to fund small charities, and potential solutions.
The report can be read here.