The Voluntary & Community sector and Health & Social Care

The benefits of the VCS working in partnership with statutory Health and Social care seems to be understood but has it been fully embraced?


The VCSE Review has published a progress report following the largest review of the VCSE sector and H&SC (full report here, published May 2016). The progress report details all of the ongoing actions as well as some significant achievements. An achievement of note (which prompted this blog) is the recognised need to work towards co-design and co-delivery of services to create a "more sustainable model of health and care". In turn, this could prompt more commissioning of VSCE interventions to help people achieve better outcomes and reduce health inequalities. It all sounds great but this is a big leap and without the neccessary triggers and enablers the findings of the report will go no further. This is where the real shift is happening and the enviroment is being created where true co-design and co-delivery could exist:

  • The NHS's Five Year Forward view provides the foundations for Social Prescribing models which provide better pathways to Community support (see Empowering People and Communities). We are well ahead in Bexley and the model has been turned into reality with Community Connect, bolstered by the Local Care Networks to create better outcomes for Bexley residents through improving quality.
  • Integrated Personalised Commissioning (IPC) focuses on the individual and creating better outcomes. The IPC operating model has embedded Community Capacity and Peer Support as a key feature, detailing the need for "A clear understanding of existing community assets and gaps, through an asset map showing what is available and a plan and business case to invest in developing what’s on offer".
  • Representation of the VCSE sector will also be strengthened through the launch of the Health and Wellbeing Alliance, ensuring the voice of the sector is part of policy making.

So the enviroment is being created but are we ready for it? The term 'outcomes' is at the heart of this current change and when you hear Personalisation and Empowerment we know the focus is on individualisation. The VCS can better prepare itself for this new enviroment by understanding the outcomes that occur due to their interventions. Using models such as the CES Planning Triangle or Theory of Change helps Organisations to understand these links. The information is out there or can be gained through your own research; VCOs who are based within the Adult Social Care sector can better understand outcomes through the newly published Adult Social Care Outcome Framework, which details the measurements on how to access the change has happened. For more information on outcomes, head over to the Impact in Action homepage: https://www.bvsc.co.uk/impact-action


Lastly, everybody's favourite; data. Imagine the powerful data that could be created from the combination of VCS and national data sets. The possibilites are endless and is not confined to the future. Data labs are an emerging trend and could be hugely effective. The Justice Data Lab takes data from the London Probation Trust's OAsys database, compares this to national data sets and produces comparative data and essentially answers the question 'what if we were not here'. It's compelling stuff and the New Philanthropy Capital's Data Lab project is driving the way for hubs capturing data on Wellbeing, Education and Employment. True Co-design and Co-delivery will use the power of shared data and knowledge to spark innovation, look at tried and tested models of delivery and ultimatley improve the outcomes for the residents of Bexley. Start making changes now to help make your organisation sustainable for the future.


BVSC's City Bridge Trust funded project Impact in Action is currently recruiting for its free Impact Development Programme which aims to skill up Organisations to better demonstrate the difference they make through models of change, gathering evidence and using your analysed data to make informed choices.