On 12th May 2017 representatives of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership formally signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Greater Manchester Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector.
The MoU has been negotiated on behalf of the VCSE sector - comprising almost 15,000 organisations - by Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation (GMCVO) and the VCSE Devolution Reference Group. This powerful document is intended to transform the relationship between local VCSE organisations and the statutory sector, and to include all groups involved with health, social care and wellbeing.
Alex Whinnom, Chief Executive of GMCVO, a member of the VCSE Devolution Reference Group and a Health and Social Care Partnership Board member said “This agreement is more than just words – it really recognises the value of equal partnership between the statutory and VCSE sectors with each playing to our strengths. It shows that once again we are thinking and doing things differently here in Greater Manchester and we are not afraid of radical change if that will make a difference to everyone.”
The MoU, which also has the support of the recently elected Mayor of Greater Manchester, includes a five-year commitment to collaborate towards shared outcomes:
A step change in the understanding and involvement of people and communities in the transformation of health and social care.
Better services and greater support for the public
The development of Local Care Organisations with highly bespoke local place-based characteristics
Increased mutual learning and continuous professional development
Increased leverage of the talent, capacity and social value of VCSE organisations above and beyond whatever is commissioned from it
Effective development of VCSE activity
Lord Peter Smith, chair of the Health and Social Care Partnership Board said “This agreement is hugely welcome and I look forward to building on the strength of our existing relationships and the opportunities presented by devolution to involve local groups and communities in the transformation of health and social care.”
Over 200 VCSE organisations from across the region have already signed the MoU, demonstrating their intent to get fully involved in establishing new ways of working with the statutory sector to develop better outcomes for Greater Manchester residents. Comments from VCSE organisations include;
“I think this is a great first step to help the people of Manchester and Greater Manchester access the best in Health and social care and well-being service. Our work in Manchester, especially with Chinese and ethnic minority communities shows that Health and social care service are greatly needed and the devolution plans help to improve community based provision in this area.” – Circle Steele, Wai Yin Society
“Through the GM MoU there is potential to increase and expand our sector’s contribution and connect it to that of the public sector. It’s about new ways of tacking the same old problems by collaborating, learning from each other and being able to work at scale across Greater Manchester and within every locality.” – Vicki Devonport, Groundwork
“It was great to be able to take part in this moment, with other voluntary organisations colleagues. I believe this is a fantastic opportunity for us all, to work with new and existing partners and make a positive impact on the lives of people in Great Manchester.” - Dr Lynn Sbaih, Give2Gain CIC
“We see the MoU as start of new era, where real partnership takes place between third sector and all public services. This partnership will lead to innovation, new ways of working and real improvements for people’s lives.” - Paula Braynion, Future Directions