Voluntary sector intelligence

Regional Voices (with other Health and Care Voluntary Sector Strategic Partners) aims to support the voluntary and community sector (VCS) influence policy makers/commissioners in health and care- and for that it is useful to have clear evidence of what it is you want to change and how you want to change it. There is a lot of data available to voluntary sector organisations- both from within the organisations and from public bodies working in health, care and in the wider determinants of health- data that is often open source- data which can build into "intelligence"  (defined as "appropriate, tailored collection and interpretation of information which is useful to the user").

In some areas VCS evidence has historically been excluded from joint strategic needs assessments for different reasons, including not "fitting" with the larger datasets or being so rigorously tested. However, additional intelligence from the VCS can complement statutorily collected data, to offer a richer, more accurate and up to date picture of local communities. We have therefore worked with NHS Confederation and the Local Government Association to launch a publication for health and wellbeing boards (and their component commissioners and policy makers) about the value of the intelligence held by the voluntary and community sector: Comparing Apples with Oranges- How to make better use of voluntary and community sector evidence to improve health outcomes (NHS Confederation, Regional Voices and LGA, published August 2014)

Diagram to show different aspects of VCS intelligence in local health commissioning

Examples of the different ways that the voluntary sector is using its evidence to influence health commissioners locally: 

Other resources

Regional Voices has also been supporting the Health and Care Voluntary Sector Strategic Partnership Programme develop webinars to share learning around JSNA and evidence with the wider voluntary sector. Link to access webinar presentations.

We have also collated a resource bank of open source public health data which may be of interest to VCS organisations working in health and care and a bank of resouces about how other VCS organisations are influencing JSNA.

And in recognition that it's not just what you know but who you know- here's a link to the Regional Who's Who Guides in Health and Social Care.