Locality, in partnership with Power to Change, has joined the VCSE Health and Wellbeing Alliance (HW Alliance), an initiative of the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England and NHS Improvement.

VCSE

The HW Alliance exists to put people’s voices and lived experiences at the centre of health and care policy development, connecting the VCSE sector directly with policymakers.

Over the next three years, we’ll be working with the HW Alliance to amplify the voices of our members and community businesses, feed into national policy, and help create effective community-based health and care services.

What will we be doing? 

In 2021/22, we’ll be kicking off our HW Alliance work with two projects, both of which we aim to build on in future years to produce recommendations for the health and care sector:

Inspiring greater collaboration between Primary Care Networks and VCSE

Working with the public participation, community involvement and voluntary partnerships teams at NHS England and NHS Improvement, we’ll be investigating best culture and practice for effective collaboration between Primary Care Networks (PCNs) and local VCSE organisations. This will include creating a ‘Community of Practice’ for PCNs and our members/grantees to discuss how to better work together, particularly to help communities suffering from health inequalities.

The impact of community anchors on the wider determinants of health

Working with the healthy communities and health inequalities teams at the government’s new Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, we’ll be researching how the space and services provided by community anchors and businesses impact the health and wellbeing of their users. This will include a particular focus on certain user groups experiencing acute health inequalities, e.g. those with learning disabilities and autism.

We’re also part of two sub-groups, on Social Care and Prevention, in which members of the HW Alliance work directly with government to inform policy change in these areas based on VCSE sector experience.

Our Steering Group 

We’ve assembled a Steering Group of Locality members and Power to Change grantees to ensure that our work in the HW Alliance is led by the experience of community organisations delivering health and wellbeing services on the ground.

The Steering Group will provide a direct line of influence for our members to government bodies on the most pressing health and wellbeing policy issues and will provide member input into the projects we are delivering as part of the HW Alliance.

The Steering Group is made up of organisations from across England, including several which are either user-led or have a specific equalities focus

How to get involved 

As well as the Steering Group, we’ll also be working with our wider Health and Wellbeing Specialist Group to learn as much as possible from their experiences. This will be through webinars, discussions, and other events, as well as regular newsletters, online forums and social media.

As with all of Locality’s Specialist Groups, the discussion is led by our members. Locality staff facilitate discussion, share information, and offer advice, but the group is a chance for you to discuss what’s important to the communities you serve.

To join the Specialist Group, or for any more information about our health and wellbeing work, please contact policy@locality.org.uk.