30th June, 2016

Jan Firth - Nova Adviser Health and Social Care, writes about how Nova was allocated £48,000 by West Wakefield MCP to fund small scale voluntary sector projects, which have a positive effect on the health and well-being of West Wakefield residents.

micro-commissioning health well-being voluntary sector

In this blog I want to outline the process we went through to micro-commission voluntary sector organisations in West Wakefield to provide activities to improve people's health and well-being. 

If you're lost already, read this first...

Micro-commissioning Process
Firstly, we asked for Expressions of Interest from our member organisations and also advertised it on the Nova website. As well as funding organisations to improve health and well-being, we also wanted to use the opportunity to develop the sector and increase capacity, so we made the Expression of Interest form as simple as we could and gave organisations a few weeks to complete it – we didn’t want to deter any organisation, including very small ones who may have no paid staff, from applying.

For similar reasons, we held a surgery day when organisations had 20 minute slots to discuss their ideas with a member of Nova’s staff. Judging from the feedback this worked really well.

When the deadline for submissions came, we were amazed – we could have spent the allocation three times over! So, difficult decisions had to be made. A panel made up of myself, Helen Rhodes, also a Nova Adviser, David Cowen from the MCP (Multispecialty Community Providers) Vanguard and Nick Leigh-Hunt, a registrar in public health who is evaluating the projects, met twice. We only intended to meet once but the quantity and quality of the applications meant a second meeting was necessary. 

We did use a basic scoring system but it wasn’t that simple – we had to make sure that we covered the whole area as far as possible and also cover as many different groups of people as we could – we didn’t want 10 groups in Horbury or wherever all working with the same people!

Funded Projects
Nova is pleased to have funded 13 Nova member organisations to deliver a range of activities. Follow the link for a list of who and what has been funded (see bottom of the page).

For the past month or so, Nick and I have been having a great time meeting all the projects we’ve funded and talking about evaluation – not to mention drinking gallons of coffee! We are not asking for reams of data and what we are really interested in is the outcomes – how does it make a difference to the people involved?

Finally, I’m delighted to say that we have been awarded an additional £100,000 to allocate, so we’ll be starting the whole process again soon. Keep an eye on your inbox and our website!

If you have any questions about the projects or micro-commissioning please contact Jan Firth at Nova email jan.firth@nova-wd.org.uk

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