New report from the King’s Fund published: Commissioner perspectives on working with the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector

The King’s Fund was commissioned by the Department of Health (DoH) to research how and why clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and local authorities chose to engage with the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector. (The King’s Fund)

cooperate-2924261_1920.pngThey have published their findings  in a report Commissioner perspectives on working with the voluntary, community and social enterprise sectorThe report outlines the methodolgy used in their research, presents their findings and their discussion based on how commissioners’ perceptions of their own strategic role, as well as their views on what role the VCSE sector plays in the local area, appear to exert a strong influence on commissioning decisions.  It also covers themes that emerge from the interviews and considers commissioner views on the role of the VCSE sector: are they a partner or provider? Alongside this it questions:  what factors help or hinder co-commissioning with the VCSE sector?  Commissioner views on funding mechanisms are also included and the report concludes with a summary of the findings.


State of NHS Providers Communications 2017/18

The purpose of this research was to gather information on the state of communications practice within the 232 NHS trusts.  This report provides benchmarking data on the state of communications practice within NHS trusts, as well as analysis and thought leadership on the future of NHS communications. Collectively, these trusts account for around £74bn of annual expenditure and employ more than one million NHS staff. This report provides benchmarking data on the state of communications practice within NHS trusts.
The survey received responses from 130 trusts, which is more than half (56%) of the NHS provider sector. All types of trust, from across England, were represented.

While the report will be most relevant to communications leaders working in trusts, the authors hope the findings and messages will be of value to communicators in other parts of the health and care system.

Its findings include:

  • The majority of senior NHS communicators working in trusts are female, white, hold an honours degree and three quarters have been working in NHS/healthcare communications for seven years or more. There is a marked lack of ethnic diversity among those in the most senior communications roles.
  • There is significant variation between trusts on the size of their communications team and where they sit within the internal hierarchy and structure. On average, trusts employ seven full-time equivalent communications staff.
  • Less than half (44%) of communications leaders report into their chief executive, while only 24% sit on their trust’s board. Despite this, most communications leaders feel they have a good working relationship with their chief executive and two thirds feel they have parity with other senior staff.

The full report can be read here 

Social care: the Conservative Party’s 2017 General Election pledges on how individuals pay for care (England)


A new House of Commons briefing paper considers the Conservative Party’s 2017 General Election pledges to reform how individual pay for social care.  This paper sets out the proposals, comparing them to the current position and exploring their possible implications.   While the forms have yet to be implemented the government outlines plans to publish a Green Paper before the summer 2018 parliamentary recess.

Full reference: Jarrett, T. (2018) |Social care: the Conservative Party’s 2017 General Election pledges on how individuals pay for care (England) | Number 8001 | Retrieved from |
The full briefing paper can be downloaded here 

Falls prevention: cost-effective commissioning

Guidance from Public Health England (PHE) for commissioners and communities to provide cost effective falls prevention activities.  Local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) can use results from the tool to protect and improve the health of their local populations when making commissioning decisions.

The flexible Excel sheet allows for results to be tailored to the local situation based on the knowledge of the user. All interventions are aimed at those aged 65 and over. It can be accessed here 

The accompanying report, A Return on Investment Tool for the Assessment of Falls Prevention Programmes for Older People Living in the Community,  which explains how the tool was constructed and outlines the main findings, can be read here 

PHE have also produced a structured literature review which identifies which interventions are cost-effective in preventing falls in older people living in the community can be downloaded from their website.

Alchol and drugs prevention, treatment and recovery: why invest?

A new resource by Public Health England (PHE) poses this question, to support local commissioners, providers and healthcare professionals to make the case for investing in drug and alcohol treatment and interventions. 

PHE spend
Image source: Public Health England

Estimates show that the social and economic costs of alcohol related harm amount to £21.5bn, while harm from illicit drug use costs £10.7bn. These include costs associated with deaths, the NHS, crime and, in the case of alcohol, lost productivity.

Providing well funded drug and alcohol services is good value for money because it cuts crime, improves health, and can support individuals and families on the road to recovery.

PHE partnership
Image source: Public Health England

PHE have produced a set of 32 slides, outlining the impact on families and communities, the costs, the benefits and challenges and approaches,  all of  which can  be downloaded.

Full  guidance from PHE’s website

All the Why invest? slides are available from PHE to download here 


Latest figures for finished admission episodes with a primary or secondary diagnosis of ‘eating disorder’ published

NHS Digital has released the latest figures for finished admission episodes (FAEs) with  a primary or secondary diagnosis of ‘eating disorder’ by:

  1. a) area team of treatment and by age and gender and type of ‘eating disorder’,
  2. b) by clinical commissioning group of treatment from 2010/11 to 2016/17.


The supplementary information data  can be accessed from NHS Digital 

The following news stories may also be of interest:

Daily Telegraph Eating disorder hospital admissions double in six years, figures show

The Guardian Long NHS delays can be ‘devastating’ for patients with eating disorders