The relationships that voluntary sector infrastructure bodies have with local health bodies have improved over the past year, according to research by the umbrella body Navca.
A report on Navca’s 2015 survey of chief officers, published today, reveals that 55 per cent of the Navca members who responded believed their interactions with their local health bodies had improved over the past 12 months, while 36 per cent felt they had remained the same and 9 per cent said they had deteriorated.
By contrast, the majority (54 per cent) said their relationships with local authorities had stayed the same and 19 per cent felt they had got worse.
The report was published at Navca’s annual chief officers conference, which began in Manchester yesterday.
Ninety-four chief officers responsed to the survey, representing about 40 per cent of Navca’s members.
Many respondents said they did not have good relationships with their local enterprise partnerships – only 1 per cent said they had a genuine relationship. A quarter said they were ignored by their LEPs, 36 per cent said they had no opportunity to influence the LEP, and 27 felt they could influence it.
The survey also asked Navca members what they were involved in – 72 per cent said were involved or were planning to get involved with local business giving, 78 per cent were planning to be or were involved with social prescribing, and 62 per cent were either involved with or planning to get involved with asset transfer.
Just over half (52 per cent) were involved or planning to be involved in the better care fund and social investment.
Neil Cleeveley, chief executive of Navca, said: "Local infrastructure is adapting to provide new ways to support charities and communities, such as social investment, asset transfer and social prescribing.
"When we published Change for Good, the report from the Independent Commission on the Future of Local Infrastructure, we were already aware of the many ways infrastructure was changing, and this provides further evidence."