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Islington Voluntary
Action Council
322 Upper Street,
London N1 2XQ
Tel: 020 7226 4862
Fax: 020 7359 7442
Email: information@ivac.org.uk



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Although there is a lot of interest, debate and discussion on the provision of health and social care in Islington and many voluntary and community groups in Islington do a vareity of work on and around local health and social care provision; currently there is no forum or network in Islington where these organisations can meet and discuss issues of common concerns and or share information. With this in mind Islington Voluntary Action Council (IVAC) set up the Islington Voluntary Sector Health Network (IVSHN).

The IVSHN is an open forum for voluntary and community organisations in Islington who have an interest in health and community care issues.
The Network will meet every two months or so and anyone from a voluntary organisation is welcome to attend. The meetings are informal and there are opportunities for people to raise issues or give out information.
Speakers are invited to talk about a range of topics.The Network has good links with the Primary Care Trust, Regional Health Authority, Health Action Zone and Social Services and is a valuable source of information as well as a useful way of feeding in views and concerns to the statutory bodies.

The VSHN has regular reviews where looks at its work, what it has achieved and plans its future objectives.

There are great advantages in networking amongst organisations: it can prevent the isolation and marginalisation of smaller groups, allow resources to be shared, give greater depth to the discussion and understanding of the issues groups deal with and adds more weight to their views.

The IVSHN provides an opportunity for members to make links with other voluntary organisations involved in similar work and keep in touch with wider voluntary sector issues and concerns.

The IVSHN's mission statement is as follows:

To strengthen the contribution of the voluntary sector in the promotion of adequate, appropriate and accessible good health and social care in Islington


i) To promote networking amongst voluntary organisations on health and social care issues.

ii) To secure the accountability of commissioners and providers of health and social care services to the people of Islington.

The Network is particularly keen to ensure that providers and planners of services take into account the needs of people for whom existing services are not always appropriate, adequate or accessible.

The IVSHN sees aims to be as accountable as possible to the wider voluntary sector in Islington.

Terms of Reference:

1. To look at how existing planning structures within both voluntary and statutory sectors, such as working groups, networks, etc, can be as effective as possible.

2. To facilitate consultation between statutory and voluntary sectors eg by briefing the voluntary sector, organising meetings and by meeting with Social Services to discuss the consultation process.

3. To provide an opportunity for information sharing between voluntary sector groups. This is done in Forum meetings but also through regular mailouts, articles in IVAC's newsletter or by setting up special meetings.

4. To improve communication between statutory and voluntary sectors. This is an ongoing process but we have worked with the statutory authorities on improving their practice and by co-ordinating voluntary sector responses on various issues.

5. Organise seminars and policy briefings on the new health agenda e.g Primary Care Trusts (PCTs).

For Further details contact our Health Development Officer, on health@ivac.org.uk.