The King’s Fund was commissioned by the Department of Health to conduct research that would explore how and why clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and local authorities chose to engage with the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector. This report first sets out the methodology used and then presents the findings on the factors that underpin the adoption of different approaches. It discusses how commissioners’ perceptions of their own strategic role, as well as their views on what role the VCSE sector plays in the local area, appear to exert a strong influence on commissioning decisions.
One of the key messages is that there is wide variation in the way commissioners engage with the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector. Some commissioners saw their role solely as stimulating a market of providers, with no particular interest in creating a strong VCSE sector. Others had made a clear choice about the value of the VCSE sector as a critical player in developing asset-based approaches to care, engaging VCSE organisations as key partners in co-production of health and care outcomes.