Component 4: Investment and resources
What works well
Charities have strengths and assets to bring to the strategic decision making table.
However, they are often funded solely to deliver frontline services, making it difficult to engage strategically in an equitable way.
Where the public sector has truly understood the value of the voluntary sector and shown commitment to the long-term vision, we have seen financial investment not just in service delivery but into strategic and coordinated development and engagement. This is particularly true of the partnerships that we followed.
Where investment is in place, it has enabled the sector to develop structures and processes to engage strategically on a more equitable footing. This can:
- aid engagement of smaller user-led groups
- enable more cohesive messaging
- lead to smoother representation processes.
The impacts of this include:
- clear, accessible processes for all stakeholders
- inclusion of rarely-heard voices
- sharing of power.
The policy and engagement manager at Bolton Community and Voluntary Services undertook a one year, two day per week, secondment role to focus on strengthening connections and supporting different ways of working between NHS Bolton Foundation Trust and the local voluntary sector.
- Increased awareness and understanding of the offer from the voluntary sector
- More opportunities for the sector to inform the design and delivery of services
- More opportunities for joint working
- A greater number of referrals from the division to the Community Asset Navigator programme
- Increased level of involvement of voluntary sector in small aspects of service delivery
- Increased offer of services to patients to improve health and wellbeing outcomes
Example: Investment in prevention
- The prevention workstream within the West Yorkshire and Harrogate integrated care system (ICS) secured funding (from NHS England & Improvement) to develop prevention services in all districts within the ICS area.
- Funding enabled the work to be accelerated and evidence to be gathered of the positive impact of prevention across the ICS area on reducing pressure on NHS and local authority services.
- Voluntary organisations led the initiatives.
- Sustainable partnerships were built at district and ICS level.
- This success led to further funding and investment successes.