Association of Mental Health Providers

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Response to Publication of VCSE Review Progress Report

An update [1] on the progress of implementing the recommendations of the joint group’s final VCSE Review report has been published.

The report [2], based on the largest ever review of the voluntary sector’s involvement in statutory health and social care, urged local hospitals, clinical commissioning groups and councils to do more to involve expert charities in the design and delivery of services of all kinds. It included 28 recommendations which were jointly agreed by the Department of Health, Public Health England and NHS England.

Association of Mental Health Providers’ Chief Executive, Kathy Roberts, commented:

A year on since the publication of the NHS-backed VCSE Health Review, we are pleased to welcome the publication of the update on its implementation. As a member of the VCSE Review Implementation Oversight Group, we have been encouraged by the progress that has been made but it is clear that the full value and contribution of the voluntary, community and social enterprise [VCSE] sector has not yet been recognised. The report, last year, emphasised that 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.  However, the role of the sector is still not always viewed as essential and we have a long way to go to fully utilise voluntary and community sector, and realise its value.

“We are delighted to see the report highlight the important role of the Health and Wellbeing Alliance, a partnership programme between System Partners and the voluntary sector focusing on health inequalities, of which we are proud to be members and leading the Mental Health Consortia, consisting of Centre for Mental Health, Rethink Mental Illness, Mental Health Foundation, Mind, and NSUN. As the only representative body for the mental health voluntary sector service providers, The Association is well-placed to coordinate and amplify the efforts of the sector and our organisation, specifically, can make unique contributions by drawing on our knowledge and connections across the sector, by reaching local communities.

“The update has shown that progress has been made in implementing the recommendations of the Review last year, and that the Government and the VCSE sector are collaborating but it has also highlighted that much more can still be done to improve the role of the sector in health and social care. We will continue to work with all partners and represent VCSE mental health service providers through membership of the Oversight Group, and monitor that further action is being taken in several areas, as mentioned in the Report, to recognise the potential of the VCSE sector.”


For more information, please contact Dania Hanif, Policy and Communications Officer, on or call 020 7766 7496.


[1] Progress on implementing the recommendations of the Joint VCSE Review, Report from the implementation group, July 2017

[2] Review of partnerships and investment in the voluntary sector, Department of Health, Public Health England, NHS, May 2016