Well Connected Health & Wellbeing VCS Sub Group
VCS Integration with the Well Connected Initiative
Report and Recommendations
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The VCS Perspective of the Well Connected Initiative 7
The VCS and Health and Social Care 13
Defining the Circles of Care and Understanding their Relationship 18
VCS Engagement with the Well Connected Initiative 27
The Worcestershire VCS Value to the Well Connected Initiative 29
Investment in Wellbeing to Achieve the Vision 31
At the Well Connected (WC) Pioneer visioning event in February Philip Talbot, from Age UK
Herefordshire & Worcestershire (Age UK H&W) undertook an action to engage with key
Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations to develop the vision, opportunity and
value contribution the VCS could make to the Well Connected initiative to achieve its
The report will be presented to the WC Strategic Partnership Group (SPG) for consideration
that its content be noted and recommendations implemented where appropriate. It is
intended that following consideration by the SPG, it will be available to the wider VCS
The group (H&WBSG) was selected from six key Worcestershire based voluntary and
community sector communities. Age UK H&W; Fortis Living; Community First; St Richards
Hospice; On-side Advocacy and the Worcestershire Association of Carers. (Appendix 1)
The group was formed as a representative selection of interested organisations with a range
of links to wider VCS groups and bodies such as Worcestershire Voices; OPVSSN; OPCG; Older
Peoples Forums; Housing Associations and specialist disability groups.
The group reviewed the overall task following a briefing with Frances Martin the Programme
Director of the Well Connected initiative. All had been involved in some way with the
development of the Social Impact Bond (SIB) work undertaken by WCC and Age UK H&W at an
The group has agreed to achieve the objective in five steps:
1) To develop a VCS perspective of the Well Connected vision to enable the VCS to better
understand the objectives and provide a more holistic understanding for the SPG
2) To map the role of the VCS within the care model and offer suggestions which help
evolve the model for Worcestershire
3) To gain a wider comprehension by all of the existing and prospective role of the VCS in
the process and thus enable the wider VCS to contribute effectively to the initiative.
4) To establish a programme of ‘buy in’ by the VCS (and WC partners) to ensure the WC
vision and objectives are adopted and implemented.
5) To make specific recommendations on the central role the VCS can play and where
investment is likely to be the most valuable, to achieve the outcome vision of the WC
The group used local, national and international research and evidence to inform the process,
formulating the recommendations through a programme of interactive workshops.
The VCS group (H&WBSG) worked cohesively to achieve a positive assessment of the Well
Connected programme. They recognised that the initiative was a ‘first step’ in developing an
integrated health and social care environment which should recognise the value and
contribution the VCS could make to the whole initiative.
The group firmly supported the focus of the WC initiative in putting the individual at the
centre of this initiative, recognising that they had a primary say in what was done for them,
but that they also had to take greater responsibility for their own health and social care if we
were to improve all the services affected.
The group felt its comments on the principles and outcomes would enhance the initiative and
enable the VCS to share the overall commitment required to achieve the 2020 vision.
The group recognised that this programme represented challenges for the VCS. The building
of integrated relationships to deliver better services would require some significant ‘shifts’ in
thinking, attitude and action.
The group also highlighted the need for the statutory sector to think differently about the
relationship with the key VCS organisations who deliver effective solutions to the wellbeing of
people in communities at an early stage in the provision of support needed. Highlighted in
the report is a model which illustrates how an integrated approach can achieve the outcomes
The group recognised the need to provide a new level of support for clients and makes
recommendations that will take account of online provision of information, guidance and
The Circles of Care model, which highlight some key areas of segmentation, were generally
felt to be beneficial to analysing issues and developing solutions. The group, and the wider
VCS movement, contributed to their solutions already but they felt more could be done and a
further focus on integrated effective solutions would be beneficial.
The group spent time analysing the Circles of Care and outlining areas where further work
might enhance the integrated decision making. This work required further investment.
The group highlighted the value of utilising the ‘trusted’ provider within the VCS. They also
recognised the need for encompassing specialist VCS support providers to ensure the needs of
the most vulnerable were accommodated at an early stage.
The group also recognised the need for cost effective solutions for integration and the need to
ensure the all parties understood and focussed upon this issue.
The VCS has a wealth of experience within its ‘congregation’ including service users and the
wider public engagement groups who could be used in the co-design of services. The need to
address a new commissioning approach was obvious and the group were ready to work on
this with others as appropriate.
The VCS could also mobilise and manage a volunteering service in support of integrated care,
adding significant value to the initiative, but that it needed proper investment.
The group highlighted that investment in the whole system should be considered. It was not
just state related investment that mattered. There were an increasing number of additional
sources of funding available which could enhance the offer to the public and achieve better
outcomes. These needed to be considered and harnessed.
The group put together a series of recommendations for consideration, some of which
required simple action and others investment.
The group felt that this was a good ‘first step’ in the process, but that new ways of thinking
needed to be accepted and key issues needed to be addressed to enable the transformational
change initiative to happen and enable the VCS to contribute fully and be part of the solution.
1) The VCS perspective of the Well Connected Initiative
1.1 Critique of the Aims and Objectives
The group considered the strategic narrative, principles, outcomes and
commitment of the initiative and made a number of observations. The
following is a summary of the feedback from the group for consideration.
The National Voices narrative;
“You plan your care with people who work
together with you to understand you and your
needs, allow you control and co-ordinate and
deliver services that support you to achieve the
outcomes important to you”.
1. Definition of care is needed (care in the broadest sense not just from a health & social
care perspective) – does early intervention and prevention need to be added to give a
2. Should this be an ‘I’ statement? Whilst recognising that the SPG considered the actual
change in wording, the group felt that the use of the personal ‘I’ statement was more
powerful. For example, “My care is planned with people who work together to
understand me and my carer(s), put me in control, co-ordinate and deliver services to
achieve my best outcomes”. This statement is supported by an organisational
statement from National Voices, “Co-ordinated care means…partnering with the
person to plan, pick and pull together care, support and treatment” It would avoid the
interpretation below (3)!
3. The statement using ‘you’ suggests a lack of buy-in to the ‘I’ statements? The group did
not feel that this was the case, but the language was important.
Our agreed principles
• Improves the overall quality of care that an individual experiences.