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Devolution agreement with voluntary, community and social enterprise sector

27th January 2017

What has been launched?

In another devolution first, a historic memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between the Partnership and Greater Manchester Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Sector, comprising of nearly 15, 000 organisations.

The ground-breaking five-year agreement, which is backed up by over £1.1m in investment from the Partnership’s transformation fund is the product of hundreds of conversations over the past year designed to establish a new way for the statutory and VCSE sectors to work together as two equal, complementary partners. The Partnership’s transformation fund is a £450m pot to push forward changes needed to create a sustainable care system.

Quote from Alex Whinnom, Chief Executive of Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation (GMCVO), member of the VCSE Reference Group which negotiated the agreement and Partnership board member:

“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.”

“We know that there are significant challenges to overcome and this MoU sets out our ambitions to start moving the focus from fixing problems to enabling people to stay well in the first place. VCSE organisations are best placed to support and mobilise people and communities to do more for themselves and others, and benefit from a better quality of life.”

Tell me more

Greater Manchester VCSE organisations are already major providers of health and social care (c5, 000), community development (c5, 000) and sports and leisure (c4, 000) and bring considerable resources in the form of independent income and volunteers.  Local government and the statutory health sector contribute 38% of Greater Manchester’s VCSE income; and 1.1m hours per week of formal volunteering are given.

The MoU builds on the Partnership’s five transformation themes outlined in ‘Taking Charge of our Health and Social Care’:

  1. Helping people live healthier lives
  2. Transforming community-based care and support
  3. Helping hospitals work better
  4. Sharing more across the whole public services
  5. Enabling better care

Other programme themes within the Partnership include cancer, learning disabilities, mental health, dementia and diabetes; which the VCSE sector is also well-placed to deliver on.

Quote from Lord Peter Smith, our chair:

“The voluntary, community and social enterprise sector is vital to developing and delivering solutions to the some of the most persistent and pressing health and social care issues in Greater Manchester.”

“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.”

Case study

Michelle Carroll takes part in a community group in Salford. Read her story here.