Presentation on theme: "GETTING THE VOICE OF THE VOLUNTARY SECTOR HEARD Influencing the health and social care agenda and increasing choice."— Presentation transcript:
GETTING THE VOICE OF THE VOLUNTARY SECTOR HEARD Influencing the health and social care agenda and increasing choice
HASTINGS AND ST LEONARDS EAST SUSSEX Seaside town on the south coast with a population of 85,000. Known for its beach-based fishing fleet and netting sheds, attracting thousands of day trippers all year round. Also the most deprived local authority in the south – east, with a number of health issues. Hastings has an extremely active community.
HEALTH IN HASTINGS AND ST LEONARDS Highest number of teenage pregnancies. Higher than average low birth weight babies, higher infant mortality. Lower than average life expectancy Drug and alcohol problems Higher than average mental health problems.
BUT…………….! Hastings has a terrific community atmosphere which doesnt go when the day trippers leave. This has led to a strong ethos of individuals and groups getting together to form voluntary groups to serve their local community under the umbrella of Hastings Voluntary Action. There are over 300 groups and organisations who are active members of HVA
HASTINGS HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE FORUM First initiated in 2001, the Forum has now got a membership of nearly 200 groups and organisations representing a whole spectrum of health and social care. A steering group meets each month to get feedback from the representatives of the Forum who now have an active input into most of the key committees in Hastings and St Leonards. 3 years on, we now have extremely good partnerships with the local and county councils, the PCTs, the Local Strategic Partnership and Social Services. We have reference groups in key areas of Children and Young Peoples policy making, Older People, Disability and Mental Wellbeing.
OUTCOME- improving choice and quality for people in Hastings and St Leonards We still have a long way to go but we are sitting at the table and our views are gaining respect by service providers, because we have proved ourselves to be reliable and informed. The voluntary sector has always been able to implement new initiatives quickly and effectively and to respond to demand. It is now having the recognition it justly deserves as more and more we are influencing the agenda for service providers. We are seen as independent and accessible by the general public which means we are a conduit between statutory and professional bodies and the public.
THE FUTURE? The government has actively encouraged public participation using the voluntary sector networks,this is leading to greater participation and understanding on all sides. In Hastings we will continue to forge good links and encourage people to speak out and exercise informed choice. The future is exciting in health and social care as we become more involved at the planning stage of change.