MHPF welcomes the publication of the Review of partnerships and investment in Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise organisations in the health and care sector, which evaluates and highlights the important role of the VCSE sector in contributing to and improving health, wellbeing and care outcomes.
According to the report, commissioned by system partners Department of Health, NHS England and Public Health England to identify barriers to voluntary sector involvement in in health services, the VCSE sector should be an integral part of a collaborative health and care system and be treated as an equal partner in the strategic planning and delivery of services. With over 35,000 charities working the health and social care sectors alone, the VCSE sector can reach the whole community, ‘think whole person’, and ‘act whole lifetime’, and it is only natural that these organisations seek to coordinate and amplify their efforts through support organisations and representative bodies such as MHPF.
Highlighting the importance of infrastructure organisations, the report emphasises the unique contribution organisations like MHPF are able to offer our communities and to the health and care system, drawing on our knowledge and connections across the VCSE sector. We are pleased that the Review recognises the well-placed role of organisations such as ourselves in facilitating VCSE partnerships and acting as a channel for their engagement in policy and commissioning processes.
Infrastructure organisations can be an efficient way for both commissioners to access smaller organisations and for smaller organisation to feed in their expertise to strategic planning, however, we recognise the view that organisations such as ourselves will need to continuously adapt in order to develop the kinds of support which are most needed in a rapidly changing environment.
At both national and local level, the VCSE and statutory sectors need each other, with each bringing its own kind of expertise and resources, and MHPF look forward to working with our partners and members in supporting the implementation of the recommendations, and creating a sustainable and responsive infrastructure.
A copy of the Final Report of the VCSE Review can be accessed here.