Health and Social Care

Health and social care are important areas of service delivery and both have long established traditions in working with third sector organisations. This stream of work brings together projects that have an interest in the health and social care fields. Key concepts under consideration include personalisation, commissioning and health and social care policy. 

Key questions

  • How do relationships between statutory bodies and third sector agencies work in practice?  What are the barriers and facilitators of these relationships?
  • How is the personalisation agenda impacting on third sector bodies in health and social care?
  • What will be the role of third sector agencies involved in health and social care in the future?

Current work

There are a series of projects that are ongoing regarding different aspects of the health and social care agenda.  These include: 

  • Following on from the Working Paper on Personalisation, there is currently a review ongoing regarding the implications of personalisation for carers. This is being carried out in conjunction with Mary Larkin of De Montfort University.
  • A programme of work is currently in progress exploring the commissioning relationship between statutory and third sector bodies.  A review is underway which brings together evidence about the nature of the relationship between commissioners and providers in terms of the third sector.  This will be complemented by a series of case studies which will investigate innovative relationships between third sector organisations and commissioners.  A report of the first of these case studies which was conducted with Conwy Collaborative Services is available: Single point of access to third sector services: the Conwy Collaborative approach.
  • A review of the evidence from other sectors outside health care which have a significant pedigree in the externalisation of services (e.g. leisure, social care and housing) is also being conducted. This will help us to understand what evidence has been generated in these sectors and whether there are any lessons which health care might learn from these experiences. 
  • Work is also taking place around health care and social enterprise. A recent working paper looked at the 'Right to Request' scheme, whereby NHS workers have been able to set up social enterprises to deliver community health services.

Associated publications 

Briefing Paper 105Clarity, communication and reciprocity... in the new health and social care commissioning environment

Working Paper 104Personalisation: a new dawn or the end of the road for third sector support for carers?

Working Paper 64: Personalisation: the impact for carers

Working Paper 52: Are NHS staff set to become social entrepreneurs?

Working Paper 30: The personalisation agenda

See also Voluntary Sector Review: GP commissioning- implications for the sector (by permission of Policy Press) 

Next steps

We will continue developing our work around the personalisation and commissioning agendas and keeping third sector organisations up to date with the most recent changes in health and social care policy. 

Research contacts

  • Robin Miller
  • Helen Dickinson
  • Pete Alcock