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Work Streams > Making Partnerships Work (VSC)

Voluntary and Community Sector (VSC)

The work of the Voluntary and Community Sector Partnership Team(VCSPT) aims to build on the long established history that the Department of Health, the NHS and latterly, NIMHE, have of working with the voluntary and community sector to develop health and social care policy and service provision. Mental health is one of the leading areas in the health sector for demonstrating involving patients, carers and service users in influencing service provision. The NIMHE VCS team will build on this to develop further, and encourage, a stronger partnership approach at regional and local level, at the same time being visible at national strategic level. There are five main workstreams currently being developed (in brief these are):

Making Partnerships Work (MWP) - Advisory Group

The Department of Health's document 'Making Partnerships Work for Patients, Carers and Service Users' has now completed its consultation period. The aim of the document is to optimise the VCS's contribution to genuinely patient-centred service delivery in a reformed NHS. Secondly, to apply the principles of the Compact on Relations between Government and the Voluntary and Community Sector in England. The Making Partnerships Work Advisory Group's intention is to develop the mental health strand within the Making Partnership Work Strategy. The work is led by Charles Perry.

Mental Health Telephones Helpline Partnership (MHTHP)

The partnership was set up in 2000 in order to develop a referral protocol for NHS Direct to refer callers with mental health issues to mental heath helplines. Related activities includ : developing quality standards across the partnership, developing an Investment Framework, development of accredited training. Price, Waterhouse and Coopers was appointed through a tender process to consult with the MHHP and make recommendations on the development of an investment framework. The established MHHP activities will continue subject to Ministerial approval of the recommendations from PWC. This work is led by George Askoorum.

Clinical Governance in Voluntary Organisations

Following the publication of the report ‘Mapping Clinincal Governance in voluntary sector organisations’ the work has now moved into the development and implementation phase. The lead will be working with the Mental Health Providers Forum to develop the recommendations from the report and support those organisations who have developed clinical governance mechanisms. This work is led by Tracey Austin-Jones.


NIMHE is committed to raising the profile of volunteering in mental health. There are several strands to this work and information can be obtained from the East Midlands web site. Briefly, NIMHE is a member of the National Strategic Partnership on Volunteering in Health and Social Care (NSPVHSC); a Voluntary Services Manager (VSM) Mental Health Network is being established to better support volunteering and work is underway with the NHS Appointments Commission to raise awareness of the added value of volunteers to health and social care delivery. This work is led by Charles Perry.

Section 64

The Section 64 (S64) General Scheme of Grants helps to strengthen and further develop the partnership between the department of Health and the voluntary and community sector. It is the main funding stream to the VCS. There is now a two stage application process details of which can be obtained from the Department of Health website. This work is led by Charles Perry.

The work of the VCSPT is cross cutting through all NIMHE work-streams and the team will be identifying where the VCS can be, and is currently, represented. We will also be developing a website and encouraging cross information sharing from the Voluntary and Community Sector. Regional Voluntary and Community Sector posts, supported by the national team are also in the process of being developed. This work is led by Tracey Austin-Jones.

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  • 6 Publications
  • Contacts

    National Lead : Carolyn Steele
    Other leads:
    Charles Perry
    George Askoorum
    Tracey Austin Jones

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