Programme update: Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector – an integral partner within Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership

The VCSE Leadership Programme has been operating for around 18 months. I joined as Programme Director in February 2021. During that time the programme has become embedded in the HCV Partnerships and has achieved its initial objective of being a key and equal workstream.

The VCSE sector across our region employs around 23,200 full time equivalent employees working within nearly 15,000 organisations. The sector alone accounts for 4.1% of all employees across the patch and the estimated value of the sector is around £4.2 billion, these figures alone begin to paint a picture of the contributions of the sector and importance of the sector for the HCV Partnership in delivering the partnership strategic objectives.

The VCSE Leadership Group and its members have been working on a variety of workstreams across the system. The Leadership Group has taken time to review its vision, mission and objectives to ensure that the sector is seen as a great range of knowledge, skills and experience that can support the wider system.

At a system level the programme has ensured the voice and perspective of the sector is heard and that its contribution is realised. This includes being ‘around the table’ to discuss population health and health inequalities, workforce, and ensuring the sector is included in the ‘one workforce’ of the system. Highlights from the system wide work include:

  • Mental Health: currently demand on mental health services is high and we have been working with the mental health team to ensure VCSE mental health providers are included in designing the services and interventions and a more collaborative process is in place.
  • Social Prescribing: we held the first HCV wide social prescribing network which saw social prescribers supporting each other and looking to establish place-based networks to connect to local VCSE infrastructure and ensure that the services available to social prescribers continue to grow.
  • Green Social Prescribing: we are completing the first phase of the project, supporting and engaging providers across HCV and working with social prescribers to design the pathways to offer services in green and blue spaces. Continuing into the next phase we are starting to identify cohorts of patients to support using green social prescribing.

The VCSE Leadership Group has led on gaining a deeper understanding of the sector and the place we live in and have conducted pieces of research around the black, Asian and minority ethnic population and communities of HCV and also the size and scale of the sector (Full report/Summary Graphics).

Future work includes:

  • Social prescribing cardiology pilot in Hull supporting individuals who are on waiting lists for cardiology surgery to live well and manage their conditions through physical activity
  • Black, Asian and minority ethnic community’s leadership programme to identify future leaders and support them in their development and engagement, learning about the barriers and challenges and identifying ways to overcome them
  • System challenges that support our people and working with both the system and the sector to understand what services and interventions can be mobilised to alleviate some of the pressure during winter and the on-going pandemic.

My role has highlighted the great work taking place by the sector – it is greatly acknowledged and valued. The last eight months have felt hugely positive, fast-paced and there is a balance between the work we do at system level and that at place, to ensure the sector is being represented well.

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