NCVO public services news round-up: February 2015

Please get involved in the public services news round up. We’re always keen to hear your stories of delivering public services, bidding for contracts, consortium development, partnerships with the statutory sector…good or bad. You can email us your news and stories, or tweet us @NCVO @NJ_Davies

Social Value Act review

Lord Young has completed his review of the Social Value ActPaul Winyard has blogged about NCVO’s take on his recommendations. Overall, we agree with Lord Young that the Act has the potential improve public services and help commissioners do more with less, at a time when they face significant budgetary pressures. And while the recommendations don’t go as far as we’d like, there are some welcome suggestions.

Transposing the 2014 EU Procurement Directives

The government has published its response to last year’s consultation on transposing the 2014 EU Procurement Directives. This may sound a little dry but could have a significant impact on charities involved in delivering public servicers. Paul Winyard has explained the key elements of the reforms and NCVO’s position in a short blog post.

Need help bidding for public service contracts? Come to one of our commissioning masterclasses being held all over England

If your organisation is looking at bidding for public service contracts, either alone or as part of a consortium, and you feel you need to ‘up your game’ in terms of business practices, NCVO’s  two-day commercial masterclass at locations around England is for you. We also have a series of one-day health commissioning and youth crime commissioning events.

VCSE health and social care review

NCVO has just won a contract to manage the review of how NHS England, Public Health England and the Department of Health work with the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector to improve health and social care outcomes. We are pleased to introduce Angie Macknight, who will be joining our public services team to lead this work.

As part of the review, NCVO and ACEVO are hosting two roundtable discussions this week about sustainability and capacity of the voluntary sector to support health and wellbeing. They are taking place here at the NCVO offices on 25 February 14.00-16.00 and 26 February 10.00-12.00. Places are limited, so if you are interested in participating please email indicating the nature of your interest in health and wellbeing, which of two events you are able to attend, and whether you are interested in claiming for a contribution towards travel expenses.

The role of volunteering in public services

Join us at NCVO’s next National Volunteering Forum [event has now passed], which takes place on 10 March, will focus on the role volunteering can play in helping to shape and design the future delivery of public services. Hear from expert speakers, discuss, network and share good practice with volunteer involving organisations and volunteer managers.

Number of organisations awarded the prestigious IiV quality mark continues to grow

A total of 35 organisations successfully achieved or renewed the Investing in Volunteers (IiV) quality standard last month, bringing the total to almost 800 organisations across the UK. The standard is unique in the UK in its focus on good practice in volunteer management and is seen as the ‘must have’ quality standard for volunteer involving organisations aiming to demonstrate and improve the effectiveness of their work with volunteers.

For more information please visit the Investing in Volunteers (IiV) website or contact the team at

Open and transparent healthcare

NHS England are running two half-day workshops (one in Leeds and one in Brighton) which explore how health services can become more open and transparent. The session will help patients, patient participation groups and charities explore the benefits of transparency to patients and citizens. They will showcase NHS transparency initiatives that make information accessible to everyone and help patients find out how their services are performing. They will also explain how transparency initiatives stimulate innovation within the health service, and how this links with the recently published ‘Five Year Forward View’.

Your case studies needed!

As ever, the public services team is on the hunt for case studies. Stories of ‘frontline experience’ – both negative and positive – help supplement our work with a ‘human story’ perspective which makes our arguments all the more powerful. This is especially important for our responses to select committee inquiries and government consultations. These are valuable opportunities for change that need to be fully exploited.

Currently, we are particularly interested in examples of gagging clauses being added to contracts and local authorities that are making best use of the Social Value Act.

Don’t worry if you don’t have time to write up a case study in detail yourself: a member of the NCVO would be very happy to do this based on a short phone call. If you’re interested please contact Paul Winyard.

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Avatar photo Nick was NCVO's public services manager until March 2017. He is also a trustee of the South London Relief in Sickness Fund.

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