The Department of Health has agreed to fund a host of charities to develop their skills as commissioning support organisations.
Macmillan Cancer Support, Arthritis Care and Epilepsy Action are amongst the organisations awarded a grant of £56,500 from the DH’s Innovation, Excellence and Service Development Fund.
Ciarán Devane (pictured), Chief Executive of Macmillan, said the grant will help the charity move one step closer to achieving “the best clinical outcomes and patient experience for all cancer patients”.
The charities will work alongside the Neurological Commissioning Support (NCS) as part of its programme to support health and social care commissioners.
NCS was established by the MS Society, Parkinson’s UK and the Motor Neurone Disease Association to provide advice and expertise to public sector commissioners.
The body worked with the DH to highlight how patient services and value for money could be improved further if charities were involved to develop their skills to advise commissioners.
Since then, it has been awarded funding as part of a development programme for the new two years.
“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.”
The £3.3m Innovation, Excellence and Service Development Fund currently supports 57 projects around the country.