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Celebrating partnership working between the third sector and the NHS

13 June 2019
Volume 28 · Issue 11


Emeritus Professor Alan Glasper, University of Southampton, discusses the success of partnerships between the third sector and the NHS, which is crucial to improving care for people in society.

The third sector of health and social care embraces those charities and other organisations who make significant contributions to the overall success of the NHS in providing care for discrete patient groups. NHS England actively encourages these organisations' input into the overall structure of the health service (NHS England, 2019). Third-sector charities, ie organisations not in the public or private domain, are often the unsung heroes of healthcare provision. Could we imagine, for example, cancer care without Macmillan Cancer Support or Marie Curie services?

It would be impossible to cover the contributions of all the organisations that contribute to the NHS, but it is timely to look at one particular charity that is celebrating 40 years of service to the NHS: this is Bliss, a charity for babies born premature or sick.

Bliss was launched in 1979, initially to raise money for equipment such as incubators for premature babies and those requiring care in neonatal units. The charity has since provided much more than equipment—it exists to ensure that babies requiring neonatal care in units across the UK have the best chance of survival and quality of life.

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