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Fund to boost innovation and the role of voluntary sector in health

27th July 2011

The latest round of funding to support voluntary projects in health and social care has today been announced by Care Services Minister, Paul Burstow.

Applications are invited to the 2012-13 Innovation, Excellence and Strategic Development Fund that supports the voluntary sector in developing innovation across health and social care.

In the last round (2011-12), 57 projects benefited from funding under the scheme, at a total cost of just under £3.5 million for the year.  These projects – from cancer services to mental health projects for young adults – are now benefiting patients across the country.

The fund comes as part of the overall Voluntary Sector Investment programme, which totalled over £18million for the year and was set up to improve links between the Department and third sector health and social care organisations across England.

Care Services Minister, Paul Burstow said:

"The voluntary sector plays a valuable role in improving health in our local communities and providing frontline services. The Government recognises the contribution the voluntary sector makes to driving innovation and quality.

"The Innovation, Excellence and Strategic Development Fund has already supported many projects around the country – from end of life care to better services for cancer patients. Above all, this funding recognises the increased importance of the sector in helping us build strong and resilient communities."

One organisation that benefited from the fund was CLIC Sargent, a charity for young people with cancer, which received £38,203 during 2011-12. This was used to implement a new model of community care, helping young adults with cancer to be more independent, as well as having greater support in education and employment.

Dara de Burca, Director of Services at CLIC Sargent said:

"Receiving a grant from the Innovation, Excellence and Strategic Development Fund is enabling CLIC Sargent to pilot a new model of care for teenagers and young adults with cancer, which helps them spend less time in hospital and more time safely at home, so that they can keep up with their everyday lives.

"The 'More Than My Illness' pilot will directly benefit almost 200 cancer patients aged between 16 and 24, and we hope it will inform the way that thousands of young cancer patients are supported."

Building a strong voluntary sector is key to delivering a NHS fit for today and at the centre of the Government’s vision for the Big Society by empowering local communities. Our plans to extend choice through access to any qualified provider will create huge opportunities for the voluntary sector in the NHS and social care services in order to drive up quality for patients.

Applicants are invited to submit proposals to develop new, innovative approaches to health and care, actively share excellent practice or improve integrated care and greater efficiency.

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