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Government report calls on CCGs to work more closely with charities


20 May 2016

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A government-backed report has called on clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to involve more expert charities in the delivery of health services.

Following the largest ever review of the voluntary sector’s involvement in statutory health and social care, the report urges CCGs, as well as hospitals and councils, to simplify commissioning processes so that charities can lend their expertise.

A government-backed report has called on clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to involve more expert charities in the delivery of health services.

Following the largest ever review of the voluntary sector’s involvement in statutory health and social care, the report urges CCGs, as well as hospitals and councils, to simplify commissioning processes so that charities can lend their expertise.

The report, Joint review of partnerships and investment in voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations in the health and care sector, argues that by working more closely with charities, the healthcare system can focus of promoting wellbeing and helping people live well at home.  

However, unduly complex contracting arrangements are barriers to the involvement of smaller charities and social enterprises in particular, says the report.

Other barriers the report highlighted included limited opportunities for engagement, declining funding for some community groups, and complex contractual arrangements to deliver services.

To overcome this, the report recommends that statutory guidance for CCGs be revised to emphasise the need for them to work with charities and social enterprises in order to meet duties under the Health and Social Care Act.

Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England said: “This report hits the button and makes the obvious point that the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector are an inseparable part of the health and care system.

“It is time that we on the statutory side better recognise this and the recommendations set out how we should go about making this a reality.”

Furthermore, future NHS transformation programmes should only be approved if they include plans to involve charities and social enterprises in strategic decision-making and delivery of services.

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England said:Community groups, charities and social enterprises play an important role in tackling health inequalities, often reaching people who don’t access mainstream health and social care services in traditional ways. 

“This report sets out a strong vision for health and care systems to work with their local voluntary organisations in designing and delivering services, with practical suggestions on how to form transformational partnerships and invest effectively.”

The report was drawn up following an analysis of over 300 responses to a written consultation along with face-to-face and online consultation events.

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