This report lays out the results from a survey for the voluntary and community sector (VCS), between December 2014 and January 2015, about how it is engaging with health and wellbeing boards. 119 people responded sharing their experiences from across England. While some good practice for how boards involve the VCS is emerging, some challenges remain. VCS appears to be under-utilised by local partners in health and care. Although there is considerable desire in the VCS to work with HWBs, only 22 per cent of respondents reported being able to link in with local Healthwatch or a sub-group of the HWB and around 30 per cent were able to raise issues with a VCS representative and only 9 per cent of respondents felt their organisation was linked with the work of the HWB (a reduction since the last survey). There is strong awareness that resources for local engagement are limited - with reduced capacity of local authority officers, commissioners (health and LA), the VCS and Healthwatch to work together. VCS organisations ask for clearer routes of engagement; timely involvement; and for information about developments to be shared from the board.
SOCIAL CARE INSTITUTE FOR EXCELLENCE
Reports on the key messages from a roundtable discussion on community-led care. The event was hosted by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) and is one of a series of roundtable discussions exploring how to improve care and support at a time of growing demand, demographic change and financial constraint. The discussion aimed to identify, celebrate, support and learn from community-led activity and support and identify practical steps stakeholders can take to support community-led services. The report includes summaries of the presentations from those attending from the organisations: Skillnet Group Community Interest Company, Community Catalysts, Carers UK, Sheffield City Council, and Lloyds Bank Foundation. It also includes views from the round table. Key messages from the event are summarised in four key areas: the positive impact of community-led services; challenges and barriers; building and sustaining community-led services, and enabling community-led services to thrive. The roundtable identified the need to reduce the unnecessary barriers that small, local, user-led services often face in terms of regulations and in building up evidence to support commissioning and investment.