NAVCA’s member organisations, alongside the wider voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector, play a vital role in contributing to improving health, wellbeing and care outcomes across England.
Our members are leaders in their local health and care systems, where they:
We support our members through contributing to national forums, policy and strategy development.
Read on to learn more about some of our current work, and access our reports and briefings on health and wellbeing topics. If you’d like to have a conversation about NAVCA’s health focus, and the role of local infrastructure in health and care, contact Alex Boys.
How our members can get involved
Earlier this year, we took the decision to move from a single, larger ‘Health and Wellbeing Forum’ to smaller, separate meetings focused on specific health topics, such as integrated care, social prescribing, and volunteering in health.
In 2021, we launched a dedicated, members-only health and wellbeing Slack workspace. This provides a space for key discussions and for us to share updates, events and resources with our members.
To find out more about joining the Slack workspace, please contact Lydia Warden.
NAVCA is supporting National Voices to deliver the coordinator role for the Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Health and Wellbeing Alliance (HW Alliance). The HW Alliance is a partnership between 18 VCSE sector representatives and the public sector element of the health and care system. It is a forum where the VCSE sector is able to share expertise at a national level, to improve services for all communities.
The HW Alliance is jointly managed by the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and NHS Improvement and Public Health England. The VCSE members represent communities who share protected characteristics or are affected by health inequalities.
For the year 2022/23, the HW Alliance’s work centres around 4 key themes: mental health, maternal health, social prescribing, and primary care. We believe that it is important for the voice of local to be represented in these conversations and are therefore keen to link our members into this work. If you are interested in getting involved, or would like to find out more, please contact Lydia Warden.
Social Prescribing is part of NHSE's long term plan and is a key component of Universal Personalised Care. It is a non-clinical, person-centred approach to support people to improve their health and wellbeing by referrals into community activity and support, through Social Prescribing Link Workers (SPLW).
NAVCA, in partnership with the National Academy for Social Prescribing (NASP) and Spirit of 2012 have developed a Social Prescribing work stream in response to our members’ increased involvement is this area of delivery.
We aim to create stronger connections between local VCSE infrastructure organisations and stakeholders involved in social prescribing at a national, regional, system and place level, to deliver increased impact and patient outcomes. We are working with our members to identify gaps in the Social Prescribing eco system and to offer solutions.
For more information or to get involved in the conversations, contact our Health and Wellbeing Manager, Anne-Marie.
One of our members, CVS Tendring, has done some great work on social prescribing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EePFoLXQ9Q
Doncaster Community Arts (darts) has also been involved in some work, connecting people to their local community to improve their wellbeing: https://wearedarts.org.uk/creative-directions-and-we-create/.
The Integrated Care Agenda presents an opportunity to influence health systems by embedding the local voluntary sector.
Each Integrated Care System will have a VCSE Alliance, many of which are led by our members. It is really important for us to demonstrate the value of the VCSE sector and support our members to engage at every level.
We are working with NHS England on the 'Embedding the VCSE sector in ICS Partnership' programme. This programme builds on the work of the ICS VCSE Leadership Programme and offers VCSEs support, as they establish or develop alliances and networks across their health systems and places. We are providing webinars, support materials and direct consultancy to VCSE sectors in each of the ICS areas across England. The programme will support ICSs to meet the requirement to develop a formal agreement for engaging and embedding the VCSE sector in system level governance and decision-making arrangements by July 2022.
You can read an example of how our members are involved and what the programme is achieving by visiting York CVS’s website.
We recognise that this will be an ongoing process and will continue to offer support to members to integrate into their ICS following completion of the programme.
In addition to the Embedding the VCSE in ICSs programme, we are working with NHS England to develop a toolkit of resources to support the integration of the VCSE into ICSs. The toolkit will include a bank of templates and examples of a variety of documents, as well as guidance on how to develop a robust VCSE alliance and engage with statutory bodies.
We know our members are the experts on the places where they work, and that expertise and intelligence is immensely valuable. NAVCA participates in several national forums to amplify the voices of our members and to highlight the value of local knowledge when building partnerships and collaborations on health and wellbeing. We work to provide balance between national organisations and the specialist, detailed skills and knowledge of local VCSE and particularly local infrastructure organisations. Our unique perspective enables us to identify potential ways of working well with existing local structures for health and wellbeing development, locally-led volunteering and emergency response.
Forums where NAVCA participates include:
The VCSE Sector across Humber, Coast and Vale is diverse, made up of many organisations and people that deliver their services supporting a wide range of causes. The sector is a crucial element to support people with their Health and Wellbeing.
This report was commissioned by the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership and the VCSE Leadership Group to understand more about the sector and how our geography and the places that make up Humber, Coast and Vale are served.
Recent reports and guidance show how integral the voluntary sector is to achieving integrated care in health and care services. Read the article, by Lord Victor Adebowale, to find out more.
This report summarises the findings of research NAVCA conducted with approximately 50 of our member organisations, through workshops and interviews. Most NAVCA members are involved in local social prescribing delivery, either through hosting link workers, or through delivery of their core infrastructure roles of supporting a strong and vibrant VCSE sector, supporting coordination of the sector, and providing intelligence and insight on the needs and opportunities within the sector.
Members of the VCSE Health and Wellbeing Alliance (HW Alliance) engaged their networks in a study of how data and intelligence held by the VCSE sector is used currently in service planning and development, along with barriers and enablers to that data and intelligence it being more systematically and widely used. This timely work comes as we enter the next phase of integrated care implementation.
NAVCA’s mission is to support local infrastructure organisation (LIOs), the VCSE sector and health and care systems more widely, in addressing health inequalities in rural and coastal areas.
This report draws together insight gathered from NAVCA members and key policymakers in NHS England. It makes recommendations for different stakeholders about ways to address health inequalities.
NAVCA carried out this work to support Public Health England’s (PHE) evaluation of a framework for understanding whole system approaches to community-centred public health. Our report sets out findings from discussions with NAVCA members, on this framework and other PHE resources, and suggests ways that the VCSE sector can use those resources and build stronger working relationships with public health professionals. It also assesses how NAVCA members can support their
network organisations to do so.
NHS England and NHS Improvement’s (NHSE/I) Voluntary Partnerships Team commissioned NAVCA to deliver a rapid review of the landscape of VCSE infrastructure organisations within the 22 integrated care system (ICS) areas not currently involved in its VCSE Leadership Programme.
NAVCA was commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement’s Transformation Team to deliver a series of engagement events for local VCSE infrastructure organisations on proposals for the next steps in integrated care. This paper summarises key findings and recommendations.
The King’s Fund was commissioned by the Department of Health to conduct research that would explore how and why clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and local authorities chose to engage with the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector. This report first sets out the methodology used and then presents findings on the factors that underpin the adoption of different approaches. The report's authors discuss how commissioners’ perceptions of their own strategic role, as well as their views on what role the VCSE sector plays in the local area, appear to exert a strong influence on commissioning decisions.
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