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Voluntary Sector North West
St. Thomas Centre

Ardwick Green North
M12 6FZ
Tel: 0161 276 9300
Fax: 0161 276 9301

Consultation responses

VCSE Review: Discussion paper on the challenges and solutions to better investment in and partnership with the VCSE sector

11 November 2015

This is the VSNW response to the discussion paper on the challenges and solutions to better investment in and partnership with the VCSE sector. This response drew upon a workshop discussion held at VSNW’s annual conference on 7th October 2015. This well attended workshop focussed very much on the relationship between the sector and its public sector partners.

Key points from the workshop discussion focussed on:

·         The importance for the voluntary sector to be confident in its values and its role while at the same time recognising that it needed to show ‘good governance’ and also be able to provide strong evidence of its worth

·         The need for the voluntary sector to be seen as an integral part of health and care pathways.

We give five recommendations, drawn from our workshop and from engagement in local strategic discussions, in particular as part of the emerging devolution discussions in the five subregions of the North West.

Response to Dept of Health draft guide on Making Complaints and Giving Feedback

30 September 2014

The Department of Health are developing a simple guide to help patients and the public understand how to give feedback and make a complaint about their experiences of NHS care and services.

VSNW’s comments on the draft Making Complaints and Giving Feedback guide are informed by the work we have recently carried out with CQC in gathering information for their inspections.

VSNW submission to the Labour policy review

16 September 2014

Following a call for responses to the Labour policy review, VSNW wrote this submission which gave our thoughts on Volunteering, People (employment), Supporting Charities and Procurement

Response to BIS consultation: TUPE Regulations

23 April 2013

VSNW participated in a response, co-ordinated by NCVO with a number of participants, into proposed changes to the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations. The final submission is now available. 

VSNW response to the Big Lottery's Building Capabilities consultation

25 March 2012

The little funding available to the voluntary and community sector should be used intelligently to provide opportunities to add value, develop coherent, incremental support models, and operate with a rounded, conscious understanding of local and non-local strategic contexts.

BIG’s money should provide the best opportunities to build sustainable frontline support provision.

Caring for our future: shared ambitions for care and support submission

15 December 2011

VSNW wrote this submission following the feedback received from around the North West to this Department of Health consultation. The form requests feedback around seven questions including personalisation, modernisation and early intervention.

Cabinet Office's Lottery draft policy directive

21 November 2011

Our nationally acclaimed briefing (picked up by NAVCA, NCVO and Directory of Social Change) highlights five points:
► Lottery funds should be the catalyst for innovative social investment
► Commitment to focus on funding the third sector
► Need to adequately define “Social Enterprise”
► Lottery funding should not be a substitute for Government spending
► Funds should be distributed on evidenced need that includes consideration of communities of interest and identity

Open Public Services White Paper (OPSWP) consultation submission

7 October 2011

Reflecting on the five principles of OPSWP (accountability, fairness, diversity of provider, choice and decentralism), VSNW's submission seeks a model of public services that can provide effective and innovative answers for specific communities rather than a model most acceptable to the largest block of 'customers'.

In this context, VSNW's submission considers how the voluntary and community sector can play its part in supporting the development of diverse markets.

NW submission to ACEVO's Commission on Youth Unemployment

27 September 2011

This joint submission by One North West, the Women’s Solidarity Forum and Voluntary Sector North West on Youth Unemployment outlines isssues relating to:
► Early intervention
► Incentives to private sector organisations
► Tackling discrimination
► Learning the lessons from the Future Jobs Fund
► Supporting VCS to engage in the Work Programme
► Beyond growth

Strengthening Womens Voices in the North West

20 September 2011

The Women’s Solidarity Forum in partnership with VSNW, One North West and Oxfam, delivered an event  at the end of May that brought together seventy one women from across the women’s voluntary and community sector (VCS) in the North West to respond to Government’s Strengthening Women’s Voices consultation.

Best value: new draft statutory guidance consultation response

15 June 2011

VSNW recommends that:
1. The definition of 'best value' is strengthened in order to:
i. embed, and develop a better understanding of, social, environmental and additional economic value in order to commission better services and further improve current services
ii. develop a strategic procurement tool for authorities to build big local economies and encourage mini, neighbourhood-level enterprise zones
2. The Duty to Involve is not repealed

NW Voluntary and Community Sector Future Forum Response

7 June 2011

A meeting with the voluntary and community sector in the North West took place with the Dept of Health  as part of the 'Listening Exercise' on NHS Reforms.  Members of the Dept Health  listened to the issues and concerns of those organisations who work with patients and service users in the region. This is the response VSNW submitted based on the discussions that took place on 23rd May 2011.

Consultation Response to Healthy Lives, Healthy People - our Strategy for Public Health in England

4 April 2011

VSNW wrote this response drawing on the two consultation events that were held in the North West - Preston and Warrington - attended by over 100 people.  It is a response to the Strategy document and also to the two consultation papers on Commissioning and Funding Routes and the Outcomes Framework.

Liberating the NHS: A Revolution for Patients - An Information Revolution

25 January 2011

 Voluntary Sector North West has written this response based on feedback received at consultation events and a call for responses.

Liberating the NHS: A Revolution for Patients - Greater Choice and Control

25 January 2011

Voluntary Sector North West has written this response based on feedback received at consultation events and a call for responses.

Supporting a Stronger Civil Society

24 January 2011

VSNW's response to the consultation includes recommendations for Government to:
► Make the most of Local Infrastructure Organisations
► Use the consolidation grant pot to support shift in local infrastructure organisation’s services to suit new policy context
► Do more to help build ‘Big Local Economies’

Modernising Commissioning Green Paper

6 January 2011

VSNW's response calls for a commissioning process that helps to build 'Big Local Economies'  through:
► "Co-designed" equality-proofing
► Adoption of 'social value' in scoring
► Outsourcing VCS monitoring requirements to VCS-owned brokerage support

VSNW's submission to Future North West consultation

13 October 2010

VSNW has responded to Future North West, the regional strategic framework document which draws on the Regional Strategy (RS2010) consultation process over the last two years.

Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS - Transparency in Outcomes Response

13 October 2010

VSNW wrote this response based on the information gathered at the Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS Consultation event held on 7th September 2010 in Manchester attended by over 100 people from the voluntary and community sector.

Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS - Regulating Health Care Providers Response

13 October 2010

VSNW has written this response based on the information gathered at the Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS consultation event held on 7th September 2010 in Manchester attended by over 100 people from the voluntary and community sector.

Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS - Local Democratic Legitimacy in Health Response

13 October 2010

VSNW has written this response based on the information gathered at the Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS consultation held on 7th September 2010 in Manchester attended by over 100 people from the voluntary and community sector.

Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS - Commissioning for Patients Response

13 October 2010

VSNW has written this consultation based on the information gathered at the Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS consultation event held on 7th September 2010 in Manchester attended by over 100 people from the voluntary and community sector.

Submission on Local Enterprise Partnerships to the BIS Select Committee

11 October 2010

VSNW's submission to the BIS Select Committee on Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) recommends Government publishes formal guidance asking LEPs to ensure formal VCS representation in their constitution and the benefits of VCS inclusion.

VSNW's response to the National Lottery Shares consultation

23 August 2010

In our submission to the consultation, VSNW:
► Questions the thoroughness of the Impact Assessment
► Calls for a more fully developed rationale for the policy change based on VCS need
► Calls for reconsideration of the proposed phased April 2011 change

Regional Leaders' Board Accountable to the North West

16 March 2010

4NW: Regional Leaders' BoardVSNW wrote in support of 4NW's model of a Leaders' Board for the North West that incorporates social, economic and environmental partners (SEEP) alongside strong local authority representation. The North West is the only region proposing a model that would include a representative from the third sector.

Regional Strategy (RS2010) Part 1 consultation response

26 February 2010

Working with five sub-regional partners, 1NW and North West Environmental Link, we engaged over 200 organisations directly in the consultation events to develop our response to RS2010.  

The response is quite lengthy but some key messages from the sector we have raised are the role of volunteering in the strategy (currently too understated) and the role the third sector can play across all four strands identified to ensure we meet the ambitious aim for the NW.

Shaping The Future Of Care Together: Green Paper

26 November 2009

VSNW submission: There is widespread VCS recognition that there is a need to develop a care system which provides equitable access across the region to services that reach an agreed standard of quality.

In responding to this consultation VSNW focussed on two aspects that impact on VCS groups delivering health and social care services in the North West:

►national versus local funding schemes
►joined up approaches

Regional Strategies and Leaders' Boards consultation response

1 November 2009

VSNW’s consultation response places particular emphasis on:
►Mainstreaming the equalities impact assessment within the Sustainability Appraisal process
►Clarifying the right for local authorities to determine the structure of their regional Leaders’ Board
►The benefits of formal third sector inclusion on the Leaders’ Board
►Potential for equal emphasis on geographic and identity/interest communities
►The offer for regional third sector involvement in developing the national core sustainability framework.

Refreshing the Compact: a framework for partnership working

15 October 2009

Compact Refresh logo VSNW's response to the proposed new national Compact calls for:
►the means to further embed aspects of the Compact  
►light touch initiatives to support third sector delivery of large programmes like DWP's
►closer links between Equalities Impact Assessments, strategic commissioning cycles and grant funding

We would also advocate consideration of the National Audit Office's Intelligent Monitoring recommendations.

Submission to the North West Regional Committee on the impact of the recession

29 June 2009

VSNW's submission focused on the need for debt advice and measures to support the voluntary and community sector (VCS). The hearing took place on 15 June. Notes from this will be available shortly.

The Principles and Issues of the Regional Strategy (RS2010) VCS consultation

30 April 2009

Regional Strategy Principles and Issues consultation: VSNW responseBriefing summarising the response is available here:
Briefings: Regional Strategy Principles consultation response (#13)

Third Sector Action Plan response

31 December 2008

The three key points of VSNW's response to the Government's consultation on actions to support the third sector through the economic downturn are:

  1. Ensure that the voluntary and community sector appropriately, directly and strategically engages with economically focussed decision-making processes at every spatial level.
    This way the potential, perspective and knowledge of the sector be embedded and fully support the work of private and public sector partners to minimise the impact of the economic downturn - for the benefit of badly affected communities and VCS groups - and support economic recovery.
  2. The Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill offers a key opportunity to guarantee voluntary and community sector engagement in local economic assessments.
  3. Construction projects in partnership with the voluntary and community sector could be fast-tracked.

NCVO's response is available here:

Empowerment Fund consultation

30 September 2008

Update on consultation responses and launch of Empowerment fund. 

North West regional strategy evidence base

22 September 2008

Includes an outline of the scope of the voluntary and community sector in the North West. A short version, not linked to explicit sources of evidence, which focuses on the size of the sector in the North West, is published as Briefing #08.

Prosperous places: sub national review consultation

20 June 2008

Featured News

19 September 2016

New survey looks at joint working between Jobcentres and VCSE organisations

VSNW has conducted a survey of VCSE agencies to understand the strength of relationships between local voluntary sector groups and Jobcentres, particularly where health and work initiatives are involved.

6 September 2016

Support and funding for VCSE Apprenticeships in the North West

Health Education England North West (HEENW) are offering telephone support to VCSE organisations in the North West thinking about taking on an apprentice. 

31 August 2016

Government responds to letter from charities regarding the Lobbying Act

After over forty organisations, including VSNW, Children England, NCVO, and NAVCA, wrote to the Minister for Civil Society to express worries over the effect of the 2014 Lobbying Act on charities' activity, the Government has responded.

11 July 2016

CQC Inspection of Tameside General Hospital

Patients and families who have used the hospitals services in the last 12 months can come to meet Care Quality Commission inspectors on Tuesday 19th July 2016

20 June 2016

EU referendum: Potential implications for the North West

The North West Leaders Board, which comprises of local authority leaders from the region along with other representatives including VSNW Chief Executive Warren Escadale, have issued a report on the implications of leaving the EU for the North West

Contact Us

Voluntary Sector North West
St. Thomas Centre
Ardwick Green North
M12 6FZ
Tel: 0161 276 9300
Fax: 0161 276 9301