Fenland Local Health Partnership
At present the papers for these meetings are not available on the website.
My first comment has to be on the timing of the meeting 6pm on a rainy evening – at least the rainbow over the Fens on the drive up looked good.
On the whole this was a well attended and well run meeting. There was good feedback and input from members and officers from FDC as well as from other parties. What keeps going through my mind at all the health partnerships I attend is “What would happen differently if these meetings did not exist?” and I guess the supplementary question is “If these meetings continue but CCVS does not attend on behalf of the sector what difference would it make?”
My first and most cynical reaction is that these meetings have no budget to allocate and no real remit to compel others to change. BUT THAT WOULD BE WRONG. The meetings do have purpose and there is a positive reason for the sector to be represented, but I will come back to that later.
What happened at the meeting?
The main presentation was on the ongoing tendering for Services for Older People. More information on this can be found on the CCG website with more about the shortlisted organisations to provide services in the future is available here. The CCG and others continue to be nice about the Voluntary Sector and the work that we do. They recognise the importance of the services provided by charities and not for profit organisations and they want these to continue. What is not evident at this stage is how this will happen and what money is available. The contract for the prime contractors will include a need to support some of the pilots that are being run at the moment BUT there is no clear indication of how smaller organisations will be funded and whether grants will be provided. There is also no real plan for what happens in the next year before the contracts are let, however the CCG were clear that there is no spare funds available. We here at CCVS will continue to champion the work of the sector and push for this to be funded. there needs to be a recognition of the preventative work that the sector does and there is a growing move to fund this in order to reduce dependence on acute care and GPs. For those of you who are CCVS members check out the newsletter for a piece about how everyone loves the sector but……
The meeting also had updates on the priority areas. These are
- Coronary Heart Disease – An action plan was presented. This includes working with community organisations to signpost people to services, as well as some pilot projects to increase the number of people in risk areas getting health checks.
- Alcohol – Some plans were shared to look at how health problems caused by alcohol can be reduced. This is a particular issue in the Wisbech area, and also with some specific parts of the community. There is a clear link being made with the community safety partnership which also sees this as an area of concern. I am sure that as ideas begin to be crystallised the sector will have a part to play.
- Older People – There was a presentation on the Warm Homes Project that ran in the previous year. (Register of interest alert – CCVS were part of the steering group for this project). This project successfully bid for money from the Department of Health to fund projects that help older and/or vulnerable people to cope through the cold weather. This was a succesful project with the sector and councils working well together and it resulted in a lot of positive feedback. The money will not be available this year, but there was discussion on how the partnership could provide services and support anyway.
So back to the question about why have the meetings and why we should attend. Despite the cuts there is money around, these meetings help to align some of these funds and the partners that are working in similar areas. This hopefully gives ‘more bang for the bucks’. The meetings are also a great way of starting to join up thinking and services, this can only be a good thing and should happen more as that would lead to a more coherent service for those receiving it as well as less duplication of effort. Should CCVS continue to attend? Yes (despite the bizarre times). By being there CCVS is able to help ensure that the sectors contributions are recognised and that they are included in any plans. We are also able to push for funding to be made available and to remind people that groups do not run without money however good value they are.
On a final note we are trying to convince Fenland DC to make these meeting papers available on their website.