Since 2013 CHANGE has been a part of the Health and Care Strategic Partner Programme, working in partnership with the Department of Health, NHS England and Public Health England. The programme invests in voluntary and community sector organisations who are working at a national level allowing each organisation to demonstrate leadership and innovation. Partner organisations represent the views of their members and networks and support the sector to engage in the wider health and social care reform agenda.
In 2015-16 funding from the Strategic Partner Programme has enabled CHANGE to working in partnership with other DPULOs to develop build up self-advocacy organisations and develop a central information network. The network will be used by major stakeholders in health and social care to access the expertise and knowledge base of the members of self-advocacy organisations and encourage widespread use of user-led local commissioning. CHANGE has also worked within the SP programme to host national awareness events and train health and social care professionals around the Accessible Information Standard and better communication with people with learning disabilities.
In 2016-17 funding from Strategic Partners Programme is enabeling CHANGE to work on two projects:
1. Living in the Community
This project aims to improve the pathway for patients as they leave Assessment and Treatment Units and move back into the community. We are trailing the use of the Independence Pack and speaking to people with learning disabilities to be able to recommend the best ways people can leave hospital. For more information about the Inclusion in the Community project click here: (http://www.changepeople.org/projects/inclusion-in-the-community)
The second project focuses on Employment and aims to increase the number of people with learning disabilities employed by the NHS. Research conducted in 2015 shows that 43% of disabled people were in employment, compared to 80% of non-disabled people. This is a shocking number and one that CHANGE want to improve because there is a lot of research, which shows that disabled people want to work.
We are collecting the views and experiences of people with learning disabilities in paid work and employers. To provide guidance that will support employers to develop accessible workplaces and jobs for people with learning disabilities. The information collected will inform training tools, an employment book and a report that will include recommendations for the white paper.
For more information about the Department of Health’s Voluntary Sector Strategic Partnership Programme