Thank you to South Thames College for hosting our Voluntary Sector Forum on Wednesday 12th June 2019, and all 40 attendees for taking part.

Julie Bristow shared a brief update on social prescribing. In March 2019 Merton and Wandsworth CCGs joined us at our forum to present a social prescribing service they were looking to commission in Wandsworth. The following April, interested organisations were asked to respond to a market engagement exercise relating to the procurement of a social prescribing service. We were asked by Tanya Stacey, Senior Primary Care Commissioning Manager at Merton and Wandsworth CCGs to read the following update:

“We are currently engaging with the newly formed Primary Care Networks (PCNs) in Wandsworth. Our aim is to establish how many PCNs are committed to being part of the proposed borough-wide model. We are hopeful that this model will be the preferred option across most, if not all, PCNs. Once we have this commitment we can then continue with the procurement process that was started earlier in the year. We hope for this to restart in July, at which time the invitation for applications will be put out to the market for around 2 weeks. We will keep the forum updated with any developments.”

Next, Lauren Ashley-Boyall gave a whirlwind demonstration of WCA’s new website, which aims to increase accessibility to WCA’s work and provide a free local platform to share information. From now on all of our forums and events (previous and pending) will be published on our website. There is also page to advertise local sector jobs and share news and resources. Our monthly newsletter will continue alongside this.  Sign up to our voluntary sector monthly newsletter for all the latest sectorwide and local news, community events and training and funding opportunities.

All attendees were then invited to participate in an information exchange, where everyone had two minutes each to introduce themselves and share a challenge or recent development in the work of their organisation. This was a fast paced but effective method for speed networking. The sparks were flying!

Marisca Roberts of Pauls Cancer support then took the spotlight with a presentation of the local charities work, which can be view on this link: Paul's Cancer Support for Voluntary Sector Forum. For more information on Paul’s Cancer Support visit their website here.

Jenny Weinstein fed back on the recent Wandsworth Voluntary Sector Conference ‘Looking forward Together’, which was a huge success. Attended by 112 people, with speakers from Wandsworth Council, NCVO, the FSI, Wimbledon Foundation, Big Lottery and London Funders. The afternoon also incorporated workshops on good governance, recruiting and managing volunteers, writing a winning funding application and commissioning.   Read the Wandsworth Voluntary Sector Conference.Final Report here.

Jim Fenwick, CEO of Battersea Healthcare CIC, provided a short talk and Q&A session on Primary Care Networks (PCNs). Jim explained how all GP practices in Wandsworth (and across the country) have been required by NHS England to self-organise into local groupings that comprise of between 30 and 50 thousand patients. A list of the PCNs in Wandsworth can be viewed here: Wandsworth Primary Care Networks.June 2019.

Finally, Jason Edgington stood unopposed for election as the voluntary sector’s representative on the Health and Wellbeing Board. Please see the Health and Wellbeing Board section of our website for more information.

Our next forum is on the 18th September, register your attendance here.