Department of Health and Social Care
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Clearer, Fairer Funding for the Third Sector

Clearer, Fairer Funding for the Third Sector

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH News Release issued by The Government News Network on 17 July 2008

Details of the Third Sector Investment Programme published today

Care Services Minister, Ivan Lewis, today announced new funding arrangements for Third Sector organisations in health and social care that will make funding more transparent and effective.

The new system, known as the Third Sector Investment Programme, replaces the 'Section 64 General Scheme of Grants'. There will be two new funding schemes for 2009/10, which are now open for applications.

The Strategic Partner Programme will recruit up to 10 organisations to act as Strategic Partners from the third sector. These partners will receive funding to act as advocates for the third sector more widely, making the sure the views of third sector organisations are represented to the Department and communicating departmental policies effectively to the third sector. This new two-way role will improve understanding between the Department and third sector organisations.

The Innovation, Excellence and Service Development fund will fund projects that have the potential for national impact, contributing to the Departments objectives of improving health and well-being and creating better care for all. Organisations will be able to apply individually, or in partnership with other third sector organisations.

Bids from potential Strategic Partners and applicants for the Innovation, Excellence and Service Development Fund will need to demonstrate that they can contribute to the following cross- cutting themes.

* Information, advice and advocacy

* Personalisation, dignity and carer support

* Community / user participation and peer support

* Prevention / early intervention

* Reducing health inequalities

Ivan Lewis said:

"These updated arrangements for third sector funding will make the system clearer, more transparent and fit for the 21st century and have been achieved through close partnership and consultation with the sector itself. I am delighted to announce that the 2009/10 funding is now open for applications.

"Voluntary organisations play a critical role in improving people's health and wellbeing, particularly for some of the most excluded and hard to reach groups in our communities.

"The new Third Sector Investment Programme is designed to ensure that the Department can support the sector to contribute its full potential, in the context of a fair playing field in which to compete for funding."

The new arrangements have been directly informed by an extensive consultation with over 700 Third Sector organisations on ways in which the Department could improve its funding of the health and social care third sector.

Dame Jo Williams, Chief Executive of Mencap, said:

"The clear objective for health and care services is for innovative and personalised support and treatment, leading to improved experience and outcomes for people's health and well-being. This provides huge opportunities for third sector organisations to achieve their full potential in shaping how health and social care services are delivered in future.

DH has worked very hard to understand the challenges faced by third sector organisations. The new 'Third Sector Investment Programme' is a hugely important step forward in building trust and partnership between DH and third sector organisations at national level, and supporting the sector, through Strategic Partners, to engage in the reformed health and social care system as valued and equal players."

Notes to Editors:

The Third Sector Investment Programme replaces the Section 64 General Scheme of Grants (project and core).

Funding support for the Third sector from the Department will remain the same. Changes have been made to the design of the schemes and priorities to make the system fairer and more transparent.

The Third Sector plays a vital role in the evolving health and social care system but current funding arrangements needed to be adapted to match the pace of change in increasing devolution of funding decisions to local commissioners. The new way of funding will encourage organisations to engage with PCTs as a mainstream partner in the delivery of health and social care services with support through the Strategic Partner Programme to improve partnerships at local level.

Under the Strategic Partner Programme organisations will be able to bid for a maximum of £200k per year to deliver activities for sector organisations that increase capability, knowledge and understanding from the existing budget. Strategic partners would be monitored closely, meet regularly, be set key milestones to meet, produce quarterly reports and be part of an independent evaluation.

More details on both funding programmes is available at

Applications for 2009/10 investment are now open. The closing date is 8 September for stage one applications.

'Third Sector' describes the range of organisations which occupy the space between the State and private sector. These include small local voluntary and community groups, registered charities both large and small, foundations, trusts and a growing number of social enterprise organisations including Community Interest Companies and Cooperatives.
Organisations in the sector share common characteristics:

* non-governmental

* values-driven

* principally reinvest any financial surpluses to further social, environmental or cultural objectives.

"Section 64" refers to part of the Health Services and Public Health Act 1968, which gives Secretary of State for Health the power to give grants to certain voluntary organisations for health and social care services.

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