Changes in health and care

Since the formation of the Coalition Government there has been a period of massive transition in health and care structures which impacts strongly on the work of the voluntary sector and the people it supports. Regional Voices, as a Strategic Partner to the Department of Health, NHS England and Public Health England, aims to:

  • keep the voluntary sector updated about the changes that affect it and
  • influence the changes, to ensure voluntary sector voice is heard.

This page highlights guidance and areas of Regional Voices' work which supports the voluntary and community sector as new structures in health and care develop. Each of our component regional networks also continues to support the VCS in each region- find out about your closest network: http://www.regionalvoices.org/about

The Transition 

Regional Voices  intends to continue to keep the VCS briefed about changes to the health and care system that impact on the sector and the communities we support. Briefings will be refreshed as the system evolves.

Health and Wellbeing Boards and JSNAs

Regional Voices has been working hard to promote VCS engagement with health and wellbeing boards and with the process of joint strategic needs assessments (JSNAs). We have produced case studies around VCS representation and the following briefings:

Over the coming year Regional Voices intends to further this work, supporting the VCS influence policy and commissioning locally.  We have been awarded a Department of Health Innovation, Excellence and Service Development Grant to support voluntary sector engagement with health and wellbeing boards- both where there are VCS representatives and where there are not currently VCS representatives, supporting collaboration with local Healthwatch. We will also continue to develop resources to support VCS engagement with the process of JSNAs and the development of local joint health and wellbeing strategies- better use of "evidence" is key.

Clinical Commissioning

Regional Voices promoting understanding of the VCS by new commissioners.  We are championing the value of grants for local, targeted work. To this end we will also share good practice between areas on signposting the work of the VCS. Our regional health and social care networks will support sharing of good practice of CCGs working with the voluntary sector and nationally we are working with NHS England to support VCS involvement in specialised commissioning.

Social Care

Regional Voices has worked closely with front line organisations to feed VCS thoughts into the development of the Care and Support White Paper. We will continue to advocate for satisfactory funding of the care system and work with other partners to promote coordinated/integrated care.

Public Health

Regional Voices is linking the VCS with developments at Public Health England.  We champion the role of the VCS in improving health and reducing health inequalities with the new leaders in public health. How the voluntary sector uses evidence that can be used by public health specialists is a current focus. We are also focusing on the links between health and housing and the impact of welfare reform on health.

Healthwatch

Regional Voices has coordinated a project for the Department of Health to gather learning from LINks around leadership, engagement, representation and influence (http://www.linkstogoodpractice.org.uk/). It has also worked with LGA, Healthwatch England and Compact Voice to develop resources for the sector:

Regional Voices continues to promote collaboration between local Healthwatch and the wider voluntary sector, particularly through our projects supporting health and wellbeing board representatives.

Different sections of "Our work" give more detailed overviews of the changes in policy that affect the voluntary and community sector

In our resource library you will find Regional Voices' responses to health and care related consultations and all the briefings we have written on the different aspects of the transition. Link to resource library