Thursday, 5 February 2015

Charities and A&E – quiz the ministers!

Well today’s been good for drawing attention to charities’ work in A&E. We’ve announced a new programme with Red Cross, Age UK and RVS, funded by the Cabinet Office. 700 charity volunteers to work in the 29 most under-pressure A&E departments around the country, and help reduce demand on A&E over the next 12 weeks. See today’s Telegraph for an excellent roundup by Chris Hope.

Naturally, this is the precursor to bigger things. I’m making sure that government collect evidence of how charities can reduce the load on A&E. It’ll be a good evidence base for a wider national intervention in future years. Charities need to be integral to A&E strategic planning in future. This programme will help make that happen.

But what of the parties’ thoughts on the third sector’s role across social care + health? At election time this is the important question.

On 3 March ACEVO’s Health and Social Care Conference is the biggest such third sector event. In central London (and in front of the BBC + other cameras!) we’ll have not only Jeremy Hunt but also Labour’s Andy Burnham and the Lib Dems’ Paul Burstow to put their respective pitches to third sector leaders. With lots of time for questions. And in the morning we have a session with Simon Stevens of NHS England – an excellent chance to discuss progress on his five year forward view.

I highly recommend you come along, whether you’re third sector leader or anyone else. Tickets here: See you there!

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