This briefing, aimed primarily at members of health and wellbeing boards, but relevant to both statutory and voluntary and community sector (VCS) partners, gives an overview of the knowledge, expertise and insight that VCS organisations may hold about their local communities and diverse groups of people within these, as well as the different ways this knowledge can be used to enhance joint strategic needs assessments (JSNAs) and commissioning. It shows how using evidence from the voluntary and community sector enhances Joint Strategic Needs Assessments and helps commissioning decisions that better meet the needs of local populations. Drawing on examples from around the country, it aims to support health and wellbeing boards in thinking about the way they currently use voluntary and community sector evidence and to help them consider the different ways they could be using it.
Comparing Apples with Oranges? How to Make Better Use of Evidence from the Voluntary and Community Sector to Improve Health Outcomes and Supporting Case Studies was published by the NHS Confederation in August 2014, and produced in partnership with the Local Government Association and Regional Voices.