Can Do Health & Care - NHS Uncomfortable Truths Report

Part 1: WHY as system leaders we need to address culture to improve outcomes | 17 Around 50% of voluntary sector funds come from public donations, but during the pandemic years people were unable to fundraise so they dug deep into their reserves; now there is not much left and public donations have not recovered since that time. We had an overwhelming flood of money from the public sector in response to Covid and then the cost of living, and organisations became reliant on that to respond to the increased demand, but almost overnight this is now drying up and organisations are worrying about how to pay their staff. The voluntary sector and statutory clinicians see people’s everyday lives, but if you are not a clinician you do not have that privilege. I think now, that if only I knew when I worked in the NHS what I know now, what might I have done differently? It has been very difficult for small organisations, whether they are voluntary sector, whether they are small businesses, to recover after Covid because the way of working has changed enormously. In terms of digitalisation, organisations do not have the kit and an IT team on tap. Now there is a greater maturity in using technology that has left a lot of smaller organisations behind and struggling to operate in this world. Fiona: Funding in the VCFSE is an uncomfortable truth that we have become used to. “The statutory sector is shirking its responsibilities, failing human beings who are being dumped into the voluntary sector without sufficient funding, to deal with more complex issues than we have ever dealt with before.” As an example, pre-Covid on average we offered people 15 therapy sessions, now we offer on average 23 sessions. This is a measure of the complexity arriving on our doorstep. Many are survivors that the statutory sector do not want to deal with as they cannot resolve their problems themselves, and often these people are then forgotten about. Many are expected to have the resilience to self-refer, the statutory sector will not spend even a few minutes filling in the referral form to ensure people get to where they need to be. In the voluntary sector we must never apologise for our passion, as it is what will lead to change. We must work together, and the statutory sector must start to listen in a different way than before. People in the VCFSE are accused of being loud, and it has taken years for me to become more articulate. When I did shout, people put their shutters down, but people shout because they are not being listened to. We do not apply a trauma informed lens, we don’t recognise people are traumatised, and we re-traumatise them by making them repeat their story or sending them to another organisation and not doing the things on their behalf that we could easily do. “The way that we listen has to change.”

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