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Suffolk’s VCS and health professionals working together at successful event

Working Together Event” at Trinity Park on the 29th April 2014

“The VCS is vital for all statutory health organisations to meet their own agenda, and key to the health and wellbeing of the people of Suffolk.”
Jacqui Martin, CEO Suffolk Family Carers, and VCS member of the Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Board.

Jacqui along with a number of speakers at the “Working Together Event” at Trinity Park on the 29th April 2014, emphasised the role of VCS organisations in delivering the integration of health and social care in Suffolk.

140 people attended the event organised by Community Action Suffolk, Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group and Suffolk Congress. The event brought together GPs, health professionals and representatives from a diverse range of over 50 VCS organisations.

Chris Abrahams, Deputy Chief Executive CAS, reflected on the strength of the sector in Suffolk as she introduced focused workshops around the needs of older people, children and young people, mental health and self care. The table workshops considered the issues facing Suffolk with financial constraints and an increasingly aging population while improving care services and health and wellbeing.

Workshops brought forward strong recommendations:

  • the need to build relationships between GPs and VCS
  • filling gaps in services for young people
  • increase the recognition of VCS role in health and wellbeing – a solution focussed approach
  • more “co-location” of services across sectors – joining up services under one roof
  • improve wellness planning
  • bring projects and services into GP surgeries.

The event was closed by Alex Burghart – Centre for Social Justice with four key questions for delegates should:

  • if you’re a commissioner do you know the VCS organisations in your area?
  • if you’re a VCS organisation have you made yourself known to commissioners?
  • have the VCS been consulted on arrangements? It is fair on the VCS?
  • if you’re a provider, can you prove your worth to commissioners?

Certainly a challenge to all present – it was overwhelmingly agreed that the conversations started in the afternoon was just the beginning of building meaningful engagement.

Thank you to those organisations who hosted a market stall and all those who facilitated or contributed to the event.

For more information, contact:

Geraldine Dougall, Senior Development Officer – Health
geraldine.dougall@communityactionsuffolk.org.uk