11 Nov 2016
With recent changes in health services commissioning it can be difficult for smaller organisations to keep pace with developments and ensure their services get the recognition they deserve. Manor Gardens Welfare Trust is setting up The Health Exchange, a new initiative which aims to work with small voluntary and community organisations in Islington to improve understanding of the health and wellbeing landscape and devise creative solutions to delivering wellbeing services.
The Health Exchange will also work with partners to identify service areas which could be developed, based on their experience with people accessing their services. Joint working, economies of scale and a louder voice will also enable Islington organisations to influence commissioners and funders.
'We are planning three plenary sessions a year,’ says Phillip Watson, Chair of The Health Exchange and Chief Executive of Manor Gardens. ‘We’ll also set up small working groups based around specific topics and keep in touch with members through regular online discussions. I hope that representatives from The Health Exchange will be invited to present to other forums in Islington and neighbouring boroughs to promote the value of voluntary and community services in improving the health and wellbeing of local residents.’
Manor Gardens Welfare Trust has well-established local partnerships and provides many wellbeing services which carry out outreach events in the borough.
‘It’s an exciting initiative,’ says Phillip. ‘It arose out of my work with local organisations, Healthwatch and the CCG as I realised there needed to be a better mechanism of talking to each other.’