At West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership we value the contribution of the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector across all areas of our work and at all levels of decision making and delivery.
The voluntary, community and social enterprise sector has long contributed to reducing health inequalities and improving population health in West Yorkshire and Harrogate.
In recent months, the value of the sector has been demonstrated in the integral role they have played as part of the COVID-19 pandemic response including through volunteering, practical support for those most isolated including people who are shielding, people with disabilities and the elderly, offering emotional support to those experiencing mental health issues, and working with our most vulnerable communities to ensure they can access information, social connections and meet their basic needs for food, shelter and their health and well-being.
Voluntary, community and social enterprise sector organisations are often rooted in communities and bring an understanding of the issues faced and the trust and confidence of those least likely to access traditional health and care services and most likely to experience health inequalities.
But they also brings a valuable voice to strategic decision making and to re shaping how we deliver services and reach those most at risk of poor health outcomes and reduced life expectancy.
Our Harnessing the Power of Communities Programme works with the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector, acting as a catalyst for change, facilitating new opportunities for voluntary, community and social enterprise sector organisations to better engage in shaping services and decision making, and challenging the ways we work in health and care to ensure greater inclusivity and accessibility in commissioning and service provision.
Our vision is vibrant, sustainable and resilient communities across West Yorkshire and Harrogate. Communities where citizens, the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector and other partners, come together to plan, develop and deliver innovative solutions to improve population health and well-being and reduce inequalities.
The Harnessing the Power of Communities Programme is overseen by a Leadership Group which includes voluntary, community and social enterprise sector leaders from each place, Healthwatch and other key partners.
Current Harnessing the Power of Communities Programme strategic priorities and our direction of travel are set out in our current Harnessing the Power of Communities strategic plan
The Harnessing the Power of Communities Programme's long term ambition is to establish the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector as an equal partner within health and care, contributing to shaping and delivering services from the outset and to the improved health and well-being of the population. We want to see long term joined up investment in the sector which enables voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations to deliver consistent, sustainable solutions to reducing health inequalities.
Recommended approach to reimbursement
The involvement of the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector brings a valuable and unique perspective to shaping services and making strategic and operational decisions across health and care; so it’s important to consider what we can put in place to facilitate involvement from a range of organisations including those who may be limited in capacity and financial resources.
At West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership we are committed to co-production and engaging the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise across our work and recognise they are a key partner in tackling health inequalities and improving population health. They are uniquely positioned to reach those population groups who are least likely to engage with mainstream health services. They hold the trust of communities and are directly connected to the communities they represent.
Our Recommended approach to VCSE reimbursement is a guide to programmes and statutory organisations working across health and care in West Yorkshire and Harrogate around the payment of costs incurred by voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations which arise as a direct result of their involvement in work which is additional to their core role and contributes to the wider health and care agenda.