This week we have been discovering the breadth and diversity of the voluntary sector and the challenges this poses in streamlining referrals.
Ring-fenced funding for particular projects, that last for a set period of time, in restricted geographies, with very specific criteria for the citizens accessing the service is just one part of the challenge! On top of this there is the need to manage resources and capacity, particularly where many different social prescribers are looking to access similar services.
This leads to issues around trust and collaboration: an organisation that is paid to make referrals may refer a citizen to what seems to be an appropriate service, but the voluntary sector organisation is not in fact funded, and may not have the capacity to provide that service to that particular citizen for the various reasons described above.
We are now turning our attention as to whether the Open Referral Standard and a technology prototype would allow some or all of these issues to be resolved, or whether some form of digital ‘handshake’ is required to seal the deal for individual, or group, referrals.
Over the next weeks we’re continuing to work with social prescribers and voluntary sector service managers to get a deeper understand of the issues and opportunities.
Make sure to follow us as we’ll be providing regular updates as we go!