If we are going to successfully respond to the health and social care challenges we face, deliver against the aspirations of the NHS 5 year Forward View, and achieve our ambitions towards more community and asset based support and early interventions, improve overall well-being, and avoid unnecessary and expensive downstream costs in our health, social care and justice systems, we need amongst other things to leverage, through more innovative commissioning and engagement, the full potential of our community based organisations. I am not just thinking about our charities and voluntary groups, but also our housing associations, social enterprises, academies and schools to name just a few, who are often dealing with some of the most vulnerable in society. This is about creating new ways of working and pathways not just expecting these bodies to do more with no additional resource, but thinking about the outcomes required and what more could they do with maybe new skills, investment and technology, that would provide appropriate support and solutions in the community thereby reducing unnecessary and costly demands to the already stretched health and social care services. Right care/support, Right time, Right Place. This needs to be done through effective engagement and really exploring together what could be done if we just focussed on the individuals in the community, and broke out of our organisational silos. However, the sector also needs to make sure it is able to respond. Too many are not operating at optimum scale, many competing for the same pots of money, and incurring costs in servicing the legal entity itself and keeping the back office running. Charities need to challenge their own business models and whether they could deliver and operate differently where it makes sense to - co-production; partnerships; merger; alliance contracting; and sharing skills, capacity and assets to ensure more of every £ received is spent on front line delivery, and make it easier for public sector commissioners to engage with. The opportunities are significant, and I hope we can together realise the full potential. Just a few general thoughts.
I think the article outlines some of the real difficulties around the 3rd sector and health and how the two can work harmoniously together, Malcolms comments are very interesting around how the process is not effective. We build on-line services for the 3rd sector to better work in complex environments like Health and I would love the opportunity to discuss how better technology could be used to reduce the over all administrative burden of these type of partnerships.
Really interesting points made by Sarah - and so true. We deliver a range of health related (and other) services to young people through an integrated Youth Information, Advice, Counselling and Support model, bringing great added value through the use of volunteers and mentors and lots of funding additional to health funding. There is no doubt that for every homeless young person we help to house or troubled young person supported through counselling, we are making significant impact on their health.
The idea that GPs might work within and alongside Womens Centres does not fit with the current "partnership model" of NHS Primary Care. If the GP is involved in such activities that would be very time consuming the "partners" back at the ranch will say "this is not cost effective" or "a locum will be needed - who will pay for the locum?" However, in the South West some GP Vocational Training Schemes offer half time GP training and Half Time Public Health Training. At present there are no "progressions routes" into Public Health Sessional work once GP VOcational Training is completed. I think the VOluntary Sector should work with CCGs to ensure that at least some GP sessions are funded for Public Health work such as used to be on offer within the School MEdical Service so that WOmens Centres and other 3rd sector organisations can have access to a GP for the reasons so well described by Sarah in her blog.
great blog which articulates perfectly the role and position of the VCF sector - don't send out a late invitation to join the statutory planning party, rather, join the already vibrant VCF party that is already in full-swing