I was really pleased to see this article in Civil Society Media.
It looks like that at long last the traditional health and social care sector has started to become fully aware of the value of charities and social enterprises. Equally important is that they have realised that if they want these organisations around, they are going to have to support them financially.
This is a million miles away from the usual approach that seemed to think that third sector organisations were rich with their own resources and would simply apply them to issues that the health service thought it could no longer support.
Of course, if we are going to take the "Kings shilling" we will have to ensure that we only deliver first rate services and we must be in a position where we can demonstrate not only value for money, but also the social impact that we develop - this could be an interesting ride!
A newly-formed clinical commissioning group has said that it will take a different approach to commissioning and require that £3.18m is subcontracted to local voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations.
The Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (BNSSG CCG) will mandate that 3 per cent of its £106m budget to community health services must be used for VCSE organisations to support patients and to relieve frontline pressure on GPs and hospitals, from April 2020.
The approach was introduced by the CCG with the support of Voscur, a Bristol based representative body, and bidding for contracts opened on 10 January 2019.
Sandra Meadows, chief executive of Voscur, said that they hope that services commissioned will “reduce isolation at a time when people are at their most vulnerable, and relieve pressure on GPs and hospitals”.
Doctor Kate Rush, GP and programme director for the CCG, said: “Proactive care – helping people to live independently at home for as long as possible – is a priority for us, and we know people do better when they’re cared for in their own home. We want to provide support beyond a local GP or hospital, by linking up with wellbeing services nearby. This will reduce demand on GPs and hospitals, but also keep people fit and independent and treat problems quickly as they arise.”
Last year, Locality, called on public service commissioners to commission more local organisations, in March 2018, following the collapse of outsourcing firms Carillion and Capita.
Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucester previously had separate CCGs (NHS bodies responsible for planning and commissioning health care services in local areas). They were unified in 2018.
The CCG plans to commission a single community health provider which will in turn commission VCSE organisations.
Meadows added: “We believe embedding the involvement of community organisations in this way will mean that people and communities are better supported, that CCG services will be more effective and that the whole system will be improved as a result.