HILS success story featured in HLP ‘Unlocking the value of VCSE’ commissioner guide

October 25, 2017

HILS has been featured as an example of a successful public sector spin off in a new publication by the Healthy London Partnership (HLP), which launched on September 18th 2017.

“Recent years have made three key things increasingly clear to those who work in health and social care. The first is that prevention is completely critical to achieving the shared objectives we have with the resources we have. The second is that healthcare is not something that happens in hospitals and GP surgeries: it needs to be part of our work lives, our leisure time, our environment, our eating and our community. The third is that the NHS system cannot do this on its own: we can only make the shifts and transformations required through working across sectors and using the skills, capacity and reach of a wide range of partners.” – Nick Temple, Deputy CEO, Social Enterprise UK

This new set of guidelines is designed to support commissioners of health and social care services to harness the substantial contributions of the Voluntary, Community, and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector to improving the lives of people living in the community. VCSE organisations not only have a wealth of local knowledge and networks, they are also ideally placed to deliver preventative services within the community, which reduce demand for NHS and social care services.

The guide explains that because they are part of the community, VCSE organisations are better able to engage with people who may avoid statutory organisations (like local councils). This means we can reach more vulnerable people at an earlier stage, and get them the support that they need. Public sector commissioners have a key role to play in ensuring that the sector is not only recognised for what it can bring to public health and wellbeing, but for ensuring that it remains diverse and sustainable.

This builds on prior work by HLP to kick-start local initiatives, led by local people, which are capable of delivering positive health outcomes without on-going public sector funding.

This work identifies that parts of the VCSE sector are under immense financial pressure and at risk of collapsing; indeed many local organisations have ceased to exist in the last five years. However, parts of the sector have great potential to develop more diverse and sustainable income streams beyond the public sector, but don’t always have the knowledge, skills, or support to do this effectively.

This research demonstrates that by using limited public sector funds more effectively and working more closely with the VCSE sector to design services more sustainably with more diverse business models, commissioners could not only see their money going further, but could also start to see the improvements in the health of the wider population that are required to bring the health system into balance.

The HLP was set up in 2015 in response to the NHS Five Year Forward View and the London Health Commission’s Better Health for London campaigns. Since then, it has been working across health and social care – with the Greater London Authority, Public Health England, London Councils, Clinical Commissioning Groups, and Health Education England – with the aim of making London the number one healthy city – up from seventh in global rankings.

For more information on this publication, please click HERE.