Untapped potential

Bringing the voluntary sector’s strengths to health and care transformation

Our research for the Richmond Group of Charities and partners to inform their Doing the Right Thing project—which aims to shape health and care system reform by showcasing the voluntary and community sector’s value. We assessed the strength of evidence available and developed frameworks to provide a shared language.

NPC was commissioned by the Richmond Group of Charities and a wider group of partners to conduct an evidence review to inform their Doing the Right Thing project—which aims to shape health and care system reform by showcasing the voluntary and community sector’s value add.

Our research involved the assessment and aggregation of 175 findings from evaluations submitted by the project partners, qualitative research to understand how to integrate the voluntary sector’s offer into the future health and care system and the design of frameworks for a shared language—to help charities describe their work and its value, and to give commissioners and policymakers a way to identify the aspects of charities’ work that most clearly match their needs. The priorities of the NHS Five Year Forward View were central to all aspects of the research and analysis.

The majority of the findings we reviewed related to health & wellbeing outcomes. We found strong evidence that charities achieve health & wellbeing outcomes through direct treatment and support and supported self-management and good evidence that charities deliver health & wellbeing and productivity & efficiency outcomes through system redesign.

The research shows that charities can add value to the health and care system in a range of ways and that charities have a legitimate role in the transformation of the NHS and the wider health and care system in the coming years.

To achieve this, both the VCS and the statutory system mustchange their behaviour; not always in substantial ways, but with a sense of urgency. We have identified a number of recommendations that could support this change to happen at a faster pace. This report is for everyone working in the health and care system—including statutory system leaders at national and local levels, health and care providers in the public, private and voluntary sector and interested commentators.

The value charities bring to the head care system: brand and credibility; positioning and reputation; flexibility and innovation; access and reach; leveraging and additional resources

What charities do in the head and care system: Engaging people in keeping healthy; Direct treatment and support; Supported selfmanagement; Involving families and carers; Integrating and coordinating care; System redesign; Support for health and care professionals



Project partners

The Richmond Group of Charities (Age UK, Alzheimer's Society, Asthma UK, Breast Cancer Now, British Heart Foundation, British Lung Foundation, Diabetes UK, Macmillan, MS Society, Rethink Mental Illness, Strike Association) in partnership with Public Health England, British Red Cross, Mind, Royal Voluntary Service

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