Public services round-up: October 2014

We’ll be publishing our Public Services Delivery Network news here, instead of sending them out in emails. We’ll still send out email alerts, but we hope that moving the content to our blog will make the information easier to find, and make it more interactive.

Leave a comment below, or email publicservices@ncvo.org.uk with comments or public services news.

Social value in contracts – send us your experiences

The government is reviewing the Social Value Act 2012. Led by Lord Young, the review will run until early 2015. NCVO chief executive Sir Stuart Etherington will be meeting with Lord Young and we will be convening a roundtable chaired by Hazel Blears MP in November.

To tell us about your experiences of bidding for contracts incorporating social value, or to  express an interest in attending the roundtable, please contact our policy officer Paul Winyard.

New procurement rules – have your say

The Government has launched its consultation on new EU procurement regulations in the UK. We will be responding in partnership with other voluntary sector umbrella bodies this week.

If you have anything to say on the issues covered by the consultation, Paul Winyard would like to hear from you.

Are small charities being left behind?

Small charities and commissioning

Kelly Ventress of Compact Voice writes about recognising the importance of small charities in commissioning

Social prescribing in Rotherham

Last week, we came across an interesting pilot project on social prescribing in Rotherham. The Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) worked closely with Voluntary Action Rotherham (VAR) on designing and delivering a service.

Outreach sessions in GP practices aimed to refer patients with long-term conditions into community-based services, which the CCG funded through a grant programme.

The CCG measured the impact on the local health economy. There were significant savings through reduced hospital and A&E attendances and significant positive benefits for the patients.

This is a great example of innovation and preventative action that can hopefully inspire other commissioners and infrastructure organisations around the UK.

If you want to hear more, join the BIG ASSIST live Q&A on Tuesday 21 October at 13.30 without leaving your desk. Visit the Q&A web page or email davinder.kaur@ncvo.org.uk for joining instructions.

Welfare reforms

Call for evidence ­– what’s the impact been in your community?

NCVO’s welfare reform project is investigating how the government’s welfare reforms are affecting people and communities in England, and the potential challenges this poses for voluntary organisations.

Make sure that your organisation’s voice is heard – take part in the call for evidence before it closes on Monday 27 October. Please contact the project lead, Anjelica Finnegan, with any questions.

Work programme

The DWP is planning their successor to the Work Programme. With referrals coming to an end in June 2016, the DWP are keen to engage the sector and other providers about the next welfare to work scheme.

We recently released a report, ‘Stepping Stones’, outlining our vision for future welfare to work schemes. After its release, NCVO met with senior DWP officials to discuss how we think charities could play a bigger role in “Work Programme 2”. It’s positive that DWP are engaging early and seem keen on using the skills, expertise and knowledge within the charity sector.

New tax rules could help charities seeking social investment

New tax rules that went live on 14 July let people who invest in charities and CICs to receive income tax relief of 30%on their investments.

Investments have to be in unsecured loans or shares, in order to ensure that the relief encourages the ‘riskiest’ type of social investment and does not subsidise less risky lending.

Despite NCVO’s lobbying for a much higher threshold, the maximum that can be invested is currently £275,000. We will continue to make a case for increasing this limit to enable more organisations to benefit from social investment.

Read government documents on social investment tax relief for more information, or email Andrew O’Brien with any questions.

Engaging with commissioners

Compact Voice Week 2014

The theme of this year’s Compact Week (3-7 November) is ‘Facing the future: commissioning together’. Find out about easy, practical ways you can get involved.

How are government policies impacting on your work?

Compact Voice want to know how your local Compact is working. Tell us what you think and you could win a £100 John Lewis voucher.

Free events ­– discuss and shape thinking on transforming public services

Future Welfare, Future Citizen, 13 November, York – book now

Talk with expert thinkers, writers and practitioners about the ways in which we can work better across sectors and mobilise citizens to reduce dependency and increase wellbeing.

Elders as Assets, 17 November, Central London – book now

Join this debate challenging notions of the ageing population as a drain on resources.  How can an ageing population be mobilised as part of a whole place, system approach to service design and delivery?

Future Cities, 27 November, Sheffield – book now

Focusing on how a whole place city or cluster view can support effective system approaches to service design and increased citizen wellbeing, you will have an opportunity to talk with expert thinkers, writers and practitioners about their vision of future cities.

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Lev Pedro Lev is our public services senior officer. He helps organisations to work out if they want to engage in public service delivery, and to give them practical help if that's what they want to do.

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