Three new reports on partnership working between faith and local government.

11/04/13 – Guidance and News for VCS in Health and Social Care

This week, FaithAction took part in a national workshop exploring the challenge of providing inclusive end-of-life care services to meet the needs of diverse communities. Research findings and discussions highlighted the lack of appropriate or accessible services for those with different cultures or faith beliefs. Faith and culture were recognized as core foundations for the provision of end of life services, deeply shaping ideas and decisions about death and dying. If your organisation or community encounters challenges in the area of faith, culture and end-of-life care, do get in contact with us, as we look to provide you with guidance and resources over the next few months.


Along with our regular updates on events and resources, featured this week are several resources looking at engagement with the new health and social care landscape with particular emphasis on Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNAs) and Health and Wellbeing Boards. These resources explain the purpose and structure of these bodies, how voluntary sector organisations can get more involved in the shaping of local services and the challenges posed by this process.




Guidance on JSNAs, JHWSs, and Health and Wellbeing Boards

At the end of March, the Department of Health published the final version of its statutory guidance on the aims and powers of Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNAs) and Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies (JHWSs). It came as the result of the input of stakeholders from all areas of the health and social care system, gathered through a public consultation on the draft of the guidance last year. The guidance lays out the duties of local authorities and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in preparing JSNAs and JHWS, how they will be used and integrated with the health system, and how they will lead to real improvements in public health. The full guidance, as well as a response to the public consultation, can be found at the Department of Health.


Survey Shows Millions of Households Close to Losing Their Homes

A YouGov survey commissioned by housing charity Shelter shows that nearly 4 million families would be unable to keep up rent or mortgage payments for more than a month if they ended up out of work. 35% of those surveyed said they didn’t have enough savings to last more than a month, while 18% said they wouldn’t be able to pay rent or mortgage at all. The numbers also show that families with children are the hardest hit, with 43% unable to last more than a month without work, and 23% unable to pay at all. Shelter CEO Campbell Rob said it was ‘an alarming picture’, with millions ‘living on the edge of a crisis’. More information can be found at Shelter.



Olympics Were a ‘Missed Opportunity’ for Volunteering

A survey carried out by nfpSynergy found that, despite the Olympic summer and the attention focused on the Games helpers, there has been no increase in the overall level of volunteering (22%), and very few people (2%) had volunteered as a direct result of the Games. Also included was the fact that the level of volunteering has never risen above 22%, since the surveys began in 2003. Among young people specifically, the numbers were somewhat higher; but although 44% of young people said the Olympics had inspired them to volunteer, only 6% had actually done so. nfpSynergy’s Joe Saxton said it was ‘sad and disappointing’ that these young people still weren’t presented with an opportunity to contribute after so much time. The full results of the survey can be found at nfpSynergy.




The State of Caring 2013

Wednesday 1st May; Bloomsbury, London

Carers UK are holding a conference to bring together people from all aspects of the care sector to provide insight and discover solutions to the growing care crisis, including topics such as the effect of people leaving work to care for others, the welfare state, and the inability of the health system to provide the required level of care. More information and booking details are available at Carers UK.


Mergers and Collaboration

Monday 29th April; London

LVSC are holding a full-day event to provide information and guidance to voluntary and community sector organisations that are considering partnership, collaboration, and/or merging. Also available will be free legal advice surgeries, provided by LawWorks, covering employment, property, contract, and charity law. More information and booking details are available at LVSC.




The ACEVO Commission on Charity Governance are currently seeking contributions to its consultation on the governance of charity organisations. As well as an online survey, there will also be a series of events held around the country providing round-table discussion. The survey and events’ details are available at ACEVO.




Regional Voices are producing a series of resources for the voluntary sector to help support them in working in the new health and care landscape. Included in these is a briefing regarding the new health and wellbeing boards and how voluntary organisations can work with them. They have also produced a series of resources relating specifically to the new JSNAs.


Social Enterprise UK have released The Power of Partnerships, a resource that offers practical tools and support to CCGs, health and wellbeing boards and voluntary organisations to develop more effective partnerships. The information builds on the results of Health Commissioning Improvement Programme, run by Social Enterprise UK and the Institute for Voluntary Action Research.


NHS England (formerly the NHS Commissioning Board) are seeking applications from patients and carers in specialised services to join Clinical Reference Groups (CRGs) for 2013-14. CRGs are made up of patients, carers, clinicians, commissioners and other health professionals, and provide clinical advice to the NHS Commissioning Board regarding specialised services.


The Church Urban Fund has published a guide to the current welfare reforms, such as Universal Credit and the Housing Benefit cap and under-occupancy penalties, many of which came into force at the start of this month.


AVECO have released a report on transforming health and social care, 'The Prevention Revolution', which calls for a far greater use of preventative-based care in keeping people healthy.

The Guardian has an article on their Voluntary Sector Network regarding measuring social impact, and working out which is right for you.