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Norfolk and Waveney Voluntary Sector Health and Social Care Assembly

Thank you to all the voluntary, community and social enterprise groups and organisations who attended the VCSE engagement events that took place across Norfolk and Waveney in October 2019.

Together, we – the local VCSE infrastructure organisations and the Health and Care partnership - ran a series of events across Norfolk and Waveney to bring the VCSE sector together to get their input on the priorities within Norfolk and Waveney’s five year strategic plan for health and care services. The events also explored a future model of working between the voluntary sector and health and social care statutory partners to support the delivery of the plan.

Over 100 representatives from VCSE organisations of all sizes across Norfolk and Waveney attended the events. You told us:

  • The voluntary and community sector needs to be treated as an ‘equal partner’ by statutory health and care organisations
  • We need to change the culture of working together, to enable more collaboration and integration and remove logistical barriers that exist (like data sharing and training)
  • Norfolk and Waveney’s five-year plan needs further focus on prevention (and the role of the voluntary sector in this)
  • The voluntary and community sector workforce needs to be recognised as a key part of health and social care
  • Health and social care funding for the voluntary sector needs to evolve – current commissioning is rigid and inflexible
  • We should continue to develop an ‘Assembly’ - to improve working between sectors, but this must complement and work with local arrangements that already work well, and it must have independence and authority
  • Developing an assembly that covers the whole of Norfolk and Waveney must enable a balance between voluntary and community groups of different sizes and enable effective locality engagement
  • A Memorandum of Understanding must be jointly owned and collaboratively developed to be meaningful

As a result of your feedback, we made prevention a greater priority in our five year plan. We have also decided to continue work in developing an ‘Assembly’ model and to drafting a Memorandum of Understanding. These will give us a good foundation for working together and addressing many of the other points you made at the events

A full report from the events is available below, and at the following link on the Norfolk and Waveney Health and Care Partnership website: https://www.norfolkandwaveneypartnership.org.uk/publication/updates-from-the-stp/72-report-from-vcse-engagement-events-october-2019/file