The Health and Care Bill is a major piece of UK legislation that’s completely changed the picture for SHINE. It’s a complex proposal that’s been on the go for almost ten years and has attracted headlines over concerns it might lead to the privatisation of the NHS. That’s understandable given past governments’ track records. But as The Nuffield Trust has highlighted, “There is nothing in the Bill that would change the NHS from being a publicly funded service, free at the point of use except for existing charges for services like dentistry…” And the bill’s stated aim of addressing the challenges faced by those with complex healthcare needs in particular (The King’s Fund describes this as “a patchwork of organisations that sometimes work together well but sometimes, unfortunately, do not…”) could materially improve things for patients.
That’s where SHINE comes in.
The bill legalises the creation of new partnerships between different health and care organisations – called Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) – that will provide patients with health provision that’s promised to be more local, moving services “out of hospitals and into the community…” As the government’s press release claims.
This means new partnerships between health and social care and education organisations – everyone from voluntary and community sector NGOs and local authorities to Sheffield Children’s Hospital. For years SHINE have been delivering materially successful health programmes from outside the system. We are now in a prime position to share experience with evidence of good practice.
The success of the Government’s bill will be dependent on a large number of factors, but connecting high quality voluntary/community services is central. SHINE’s track record of results and focus on partnerships – with schools most recently (read on for the latest on this) but going back to our work with Chilypep and our long term funders Children in Need has put us in the spotlight.
That spotlight means our work is being more formally recognised and valued, which is most welcome. But it also means we can develop projects with other organisations, integrate our knowledge into services, and – more important than anything else – help more children and young people who are living with obesity and complex needs.
We’ll be sharing more on this as soon as we can so make sure you’re following us on Twitter if you’re not already doing so. But for the first time, SHINE’s fate is in our hands.
By the way, thank you to MP Paul Blomfield for his long term dedication, enthusiasm and commitment in helping get SHINE recognised in 2021. Paul has been our voice for years at parliamentary level fighting for appropriate services and funding for Tier 3 services for children and young people. Thanks for believing in us and advocating for our work Paul.