Voluntary Sector Health and Care - Strategic Partners Portal

Voluntary Community Social Enterprise Review website

This website allows you to comment on posts made by the VCSE Review team, download documents and take part in discussions.Navigate using the tabs below to interact with the content. The discussion group can be found under the blog tab.

"A preventative and community-based health and care system begins with effective collaboration between the statutory sector, community groups, charities, and social enterprises.


Much more needs to be done to ensure local systems routinely follow what is currently seen as exceptional practice: creating systems in which goals and ideas of value are co-designed; and resources, risks, and responsibilities are shared.


This interim report reflects what we have heard from the sector so far and starts to look at what we could do differently in the future"

Alex Fox, Chair of the review advisory group  & CEO of Shared Lives Plus 

The Department of Health (DH), Public Health England (PHE), NHS England and representatives of the VCSE sector are working together to review how government invests in the VCSE sector in health and care.


From January to March 2015 we collected views from across the voluntary sector on how funding the sector can support a preventative, community-based health and care system.


We specifically looked at the following three areas:


  1. Defining, achieving, and demonstrating impact 

  2. Building capacity and staying sustainable

  3. Promoting equality and addressing health inequalities

We have now published an interim report reflecting what we have heard so far: you can download the report below.


We will be briefing the new government on this work following the General Election in May with a view to continuing the review, subject to ministerial approval.


On this page:


  1. About the review

  2. The advisory group

  3. Our work so far

  4. What's next? 




About the review

The VCSE review was commissioned by the system partners (Department of Health, Public Health England and NHS England) with the support of ministers.


The review was initially established to consider whether changes are required to central grant funding to support:


  1. The demonstrable contribution of the VCSE sector to achieving health and wellbeing goals

  2. The capacity and sustainability of the sector

  3. The independence, inclusivity, and diversity of the sector, including its ability to promote equality, address health inequalities, and provide an effective voice for the most disadvantaged in society

The review advisory group also felt it important to consider central funding in the context of broader national and local funding, and partnership arrangements, as well as the implications of these for further action.


More detail about the aims and context of the review can be found in the following two documents:



The advisory group

The review is being co-produced by the Department of Health (DH), Public Health Engand (PHE), NHS England, and representatives of the VCSE sector, led by an advisory group.


The advisory group is chaired by Alex Fox, CEO of Shared Lives Plus. It meets on a monthly basis and is overseeing the review. Advisory group members take an active role in the review, ensuring the views of a wide range of people are able to influence its development.


Members of the advisory group are:



Mark Winter (co-lead sustainability work stream)


Matt Smith

Big Lottery Fund

Daria Kuznetsova

Big Society Capital

Aigneis Cheevers

Cabinet Office

Sian Lockwood (co-lead impact work stream)

Community Catalyst

Helen Walker

Department of Health

Vanda Gohil

Health Watch Leicester

John Taylor

Legacy Trust UK

Sarah Mitchell (co-lead impact work stream)


Paul Streets

(at times represented by Caroline Howe)

Lloyds Bank Foundation

Jeremy Taylor

National Voices

Ruth Driscoll


Giles Wilmore / Olivia Butterworth

NHS England

Catherine Davies


Jabeer Butt (co-lead equality work stream)

Race Equality Foundation

Bev Taylor

Regional Voices

Alex Fox (chair)

Shared Lives Plus               

Dan Gregory / Nick Temple

Social Enterprise UK

Richard Paynter


Patrick Reyburn

Voice Ability

Ben Smith



The advisory group are supported by a secretariat:



Andie Michael

Department of Health

Marcia Johnson

Department of Health

Angie MacKnight (programme manager)


Emma Easton

NHS England

Usama Edoo




Our work so far

The review is being co-produced through an advisory group of system partners (DH, PHE, NHS England) and voluntary sector representatives working together in an open process and with wider public engagement.


So far, the group has split the work into three work streams, each with a VCSE and system partner lead:


  1. Maximising and demonstrating the contribution of the VCSE sector to achieving health and wellbeing in the UK, based on a shared understanding of the range of ways in which different kinds of organisations can have impact.
    Co-led by Sian Lockwood (Community Catalysts), Sarah Mitchell (Local Government Association) and NHS England
  2. Building the sustinability of the VCSE sector and its on-going capacity to deliver health and wellbeing, working effectively alongside other partners
    Co-led by Mark Winter (ACEVO) and the Department of Health
  3. Ensuring that the VCSE sector is able to promote equality and address health inequalities, helping a wide range of people and communities, including those often excluded, to have a voice in health and care planning and commissioning.
    Co-led by Jabeer Butt (Race Equality Foundation), Bev Taylor (Regional Voices) and PHE

From January to March 2015 the advisory group organised engagement events and focus groups, spoke at meetings, blogged on this site, hosted twitter chats and had countless conversations with their networks. We have collected views from across the diversity of the VCSE sector, in order to start to build a picture of the experiences and challenges the sector faces.


We have written up what we have heard so far in an interim report:



What's next?

We are currently developing plans for the second stage of this review. Following the General Election in May we will seek ministerial approval for continuing the review.


As soon as we have more information we will publish it here. 


Blogs have been contributed by review advisory group members and others from the VCSE sector. Below is a list of the most recent entries.


For a full list of blog entries
Comment on blogs 


The window for submissions to the first stage of the review is now closed. We have fed all responses into an interim report which is published here:


Title of postDate of postAuthor of postContent
Building Health Partnerships 05 March 2015Institute for Voluntary Action Research and Social Enterprise UKThe Building Health Partnerships Programme (BHP) works to improve local health and wellbeing outcomes, through supporting the development of effective and productive partnerships between Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), local authorities and voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations. The Health and Social Value programme (H&SVP) is specifically designed to support local areas to deliver and commission for social value in health and care. The programmes are...
Youth Social Action in Health and Social Care05 March 2015Roxanne Ohene - Step Up To Serve#iwill is a collaborative UK-wide campaign with cross-party and cross-sector support which is led by HRH The Prince of Wales with the aim of making social action a normal part of life for 10-20 year-olds by the year 2020. Youth social action is defined as young people taking practical action in the service of others to create positive change. It creates a double-benefit, strengthening communities and
developing the character and skills of young participants. As a campaign we believe...
Gathering thoughts ahead of 2nd March27 February 2015Alex Fox, Shared Lives- ‘The majority of procurement practice is stifled by process and bureaucracy, what appears to be text book practice in reality translates into overly complex, process focused exercises. Such exercises demand a huge input from providers and commissioners and often miss the point of the intended outcome. Tenders now typically require 30,000 word submissions and the majority of tendering organisations now support sizable bid teams.’ - ‘When I’m applying for £500 it’s like I’m applying for...
The future for the Strategic Partners Programme26 February 2015Jeremy TaylorShould the Department of Health (DH), with its arm-length’s bodies, continue to fund a "Health and Care Voluntary Sector Strategic Partner Programme"? This question falls under the current Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Review. £4 million goes annually to a group of national voluntary organisations and consortia in this programme. It supports dialogue between DH and its agencies on the one hand and a diverse constituency of charities – and their networks – on...
Whole Body Therapy - Community Catalyst case study26 February 2015Angela Catley, Community Catalysts CICInterest has been growing over the last few years in the role that small, local community organisations and enterprises can play in the health and wellbeing of their local communities. Community enterprises are simply local people using their gifts and skills creatively to deliver support and services that benefit other local people and their community. Following a detailed blog exploring this theme social enterprise Community Catalysts is using this space to share stories of inspirational...

Full blog and discussion board  click here.

Frequently asked questions

Download Frequently Asked Questions about the VCSE Review.



Contact us

If you would like to contact the review please email the programme manager, Angie Macknight:


On this page


 You can download the following documents below:


  1. Interim report

  2. Discussion paper

  3. Strategic and fiscal context for the review

  4. Engagement plan

  5. Impact of the central grants programme

  6. NCVO / Compact Voice summary of VCSE trends

  7. VCSE literature review



Interim report (March 2015)

The document below is the interim report published by the review advisory group.

Discussion paper - Joint review of health & care sector investment in VCSE organisations (January 2015)

This document lays out the scope and purpose of the review; what we plan to cover and you how you can get involved.

The strategic and fiscal context for the review (January 2015)

This document sets out how the VCSE sector currently contributes to health, wellbeing, and care within England and the strategic and fiscal context for the VCSE sector within the next five years.

Engagement plan

The below document lays out the advisory groups plan for engagement.

Impact of the central grants programme (January 2015)

The Secretary of State of Health, through the Department of Health Voluntary Sector Investment Programme, has the power to make grants to voluntary organisations in England whose activities support improved health and care outcomes and are aligned with overall government objectives.

The below document describes how central health and care funding currently operatres.

NCVO / Compacy Voice summary of VCSE trends (January 2015)

The voluntary and community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector includes around 161,266 active voluntary and community organisations in the UK. The overwhelming majority of these are small. Large numbers are engaged primarily in delivering health and social care services. Many others carry out activities that impact positively on health outcomes for individuals and communities.

This document that summarises trends in the VCSE sector, published January 2015.

VCSE Literature Review (January 2015)

This document is a literature review undertaken by the Knowledge and Library Services at PHE on the value and impact of cross sector partnerships between health and care, and the

VCSE Review Events


We do not currently have any events planned. At the moment we are developing our plans for the next stage of the review. Following the General Election in May we will seek ministerial approval for continuing the review.


As soon as we have any information about upcoming events we will publish it here.


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