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DH-funded scheme selects charities for commisioning support

13 June 2012

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A number of charities have been chosen to take part in a new DH-funded programme to further include the voluntary sector in the new commissioning process.

Neurological Commissioning Support (NCS) has selected Epilepsy Action, Macmillan Cancer Support and two other groups of charities representing spinal injuries and rheumatology to take part in the new two-year initiative.

It is hoped the voluntary sector commissioning support (VSCS) programme will lead to charities becoming trusted and credible partners in the commissioning process.

“The voluntary sector hasn’t been seen as a credible partner for health and social care commissioning in the past, but the shift towards local commissioning provides a real opportunity to change that,” said Sue Thomas, Chief Executive of NCS.

“Charities can reach out and engage people living with particular conditions, unlocking this previously untapped source of expertise.”

On behalf of the spinal injuries charities, Stef Cormack, Head of Services at Back Up said is “thrilled” to be accepted for commissioning support and hopes to be able to give patients suffering with spinal cord injuries a “greater voice” in decisions about service provision. 

The charities and NCS are expected to work together over the next year to better understand the needs and views of people with the conditions they represent.

The information gathered will be used to inform health and social care commissioners.