We will continue to support early preventative interventions that improve individuals’ health and wellbeing, delaying the need for intervention by statutory services.
Learning from Covid has shown the benefits to some people of on-line services, and a growing confidence but at the same time the need to offer face to face contact for those who prefer it and support with digital inclusion.
A new Joint Strategic Commissioning Board (JSCB) for the VCS has been established to bring together HCC, CCG, district councils and Public Health to ensure coordination in funding plans. The JSCB will develop a shared strategy for the VCS which will build on the four objectives of an agreed plan for Health Creation and the VCS:
- Integrated access to community support and social prescribing (‘No Wrong Door’)
- Support for unpaid/family carers
- The robustness of joint strategic commissioning of and engagement with the sector
The joint strategy will reflect projects agreed thought Public Health Management Board and projects agreed through HCC’s inequalities funding.
Our VCS organisations played a key role in responding to the pandemic and the strategy will look forward to their equally vital contribution to the recovery process, and further. There will be significant challenges but we can build upon the areas of good practice around volunteering, partnership working and digitally-based services.
In line with NHSE requirements a VCS Alliance will be formed for Hertfordshire. This will provide a unified voice for the VCS, supported by connector posts within the VCS to gather feedback from the smaller organisations. Members of the Alliance will be nominated to represent the sector giving them authority and recognition beyond their employing organisation. The Herts VCS Alliance will work in partnership with a similar body in West Essex to provide a single representative for the ICS Board.
Contracts for day opportunities will move to a grants based process from April 2022 with the grants process expected to be re-opened every 2-3 years.
Adult Care Services will continue to invest in VCS services which support carers and provide them with breaks. The Hertfordshire Carers strategy runs to 2021 and a new carers strategy is being developed in co-production with carers. It sets out the needs that they feel must be met and the models of support they wish to see available. The action plan for the strategy is taken forward by the multiagency Carers Coproduction Board. The contracts for support and free breaks commenced in April 2020 and are not expected to be retendered for at least 2 years. There are however opportunities for providers to offer carer breaks to self-funders, people with direct payments and as part of contracted domiciliary care services. We anticipate continuing growth in the number of carers receiving a direct payment and providers are encouraged to explore and develop the associated market for individual, personalised support.