Voluntary and Community
VCS Delivered Outcomes for Health and Social Care
Changes to public sector financing have meant that innovative approaches to delivery of services and care are required more than ever before.
There are many national trends affecting health and social care today – some creating new opportunities, others placing strains on existing systems. For example, we are all living longer, but we are not always in good health. The older we get, the more treatment we will need for age-related illnesses. New technology can provide safer, more successful treatment, but it comes with a hefty price tag. These trends affect our communities directly. In fact, many developments will be more pronounced in North East Lincolnshire than in the rest of the country, for these reasons:
- We have significant areas of deprivation compared to other regions
- Our older population is growing rapidly
- More people smoke in our communities than elsewhere
- We know that low income, old age, and poor lifestyle choices lead to greater health and social care needs. If nothing is done to prepare our healthcare services for the changes ahead, the services will struggle to maintain good standards of care for everyone. And our communities will feel the consequences:
- Inequalities would persist, and perhaps intensify
- Hospitals would have to cut costs aggressively, thereby damaging services and jeopardising quality
- Health and social care staff would be overstretched and tired
If we are not able to maintain services at minimum standards, we could lose some services locally, with patients having to travel further afield. This also means that we may find it harder to recruit or retain the best staff - who would not want to work in a service that is not considered good quality. Ultimately, this means poorer outcomes for local patients who would not be getting the treatment they deserve.
Clearly these challenges are significant and in order to enable the right level of quality and continue to live within our financial means, we need to focus far more on prevention and keeping people well for longer so that they have less need for the more expensive health and social care interventions.
This means that the types of interventions that can be offered by the voluntary and community sector will come to prominence now and in the future.
Activities that enable people to stay well at home in older age, reduce smoking and alcohol dependency and contribute to personal wellbeing will become increasingly important.
All of this will help us to shift our focus from intensive and dependency-related services to more self care and independent living
The diagram below illustrates the transformation we are looking to achieve:
2 Outcome – what do we want to achieve for and with local people?
It has become increasing clear delivery outcomes by the VCS are crucial to creating a sustainable health and care system locally. The delivery outcomes required are outlined below;
- Promoting self-care and independence
- Reducing the demand for and on funded formal public services (i.e., domiciliary care, day care, transport services, residential care)
- Increasing levels of health and wellbeing
- Facilitating a change to the way people access and view health and care services
- Reducing demand for hospital services
3 Supporting the sector to achieve the outcomes required.
In order that the VCS is in a position to effectively deliver the outcomes required, focused and targeted organisation infrastructure support needs to be in place. This support will consist of;
- Inclusive engagement across the sector with organisations of all sizes
- Organisational development support
- Help to access local and national funding streams
- Recruitment and deployment of local volunteers
- Enabling organisations from grant and or service level agreement dependence to contract readiness, social enterprise approaches to income generation through charging and managing loans.
- Brokering relationships with private sector organisations in order to deliver outcomes for the local population
- Providing advice on standards of best practice for the sector, for example investors in volunteering and best practice around safeguarding requirements
- 4 Requirements – what we need from the local VCS
- For example: (this is not prescriptive or exhaustive)
- Social Enterprise initiatives aimed at increasing personal health and wellbeing
- Activities which support people to come home from hospital quickly
- Befriending and social network activities to reduce isolation
- Early intervention in issues such as domestic violence and abuse
- Work with people experiencing mental health issues to enable them to regain wellness sooner and reduce their need for long term intervention
- Work with older people to meet their physical, social and practical needs
- Work with local communities to strengthen resilience
5 How are we going to support and facilitate this?
The CCG will work with the Local Authority to support both the infrastructure function as well as the delivery of outcomes for local people. We want to maximise the level of investment in public services in the area through ensuring that we attract at least our fair share of regional and national resources into our patch.
- We may also provide investment of local health and social care resources based on robust return on investment rationales
- We are specifically looking to align our strategic thinking across the patch with all local infrastructure and delivery organisations.
- The CCG can offer assistance to all in the area by providing access to outcome related data and support to put together robust business cases for investment. For example, we can work with local providers to access evidence of the impact of their work on admissions to hospitals and care homes and to quantify those related savings.
- We can also provide direction and information about gaps in current service provision, demand etc and by linking pathways to ensure a steady supply of activity.