A new report focuses on the vital work of charities throughout the pandemic and what lessons can be learned for the future of health and social care.

Health Charities and the NHS: A vital partnership in peril?, published by the London School of Economics and Political Science, was commissioned by the National Garden Scheme.

It was developed in partnership with PIF members Macmillan, Marie Curie and Parkinson's UK along with Hospice UK, Queen’s Nursing Institute and Carer's Trust.

Report authors Tony Hockley and Alison Leary say a much stronger partnership between the NHS and major health charities is imperative.

They say the pandemic should remind policy makers of how much health care relies upon charities.

The report sought to answer three main questions:

  • What difference have these charities made during the worst pandemic to strike the UK since the Spanish Flu more than a century before?
  • How have they adapted and managed a situation of high need with most of the usual fundraising options closed?
  • What lessons are there from this experience for the future of UK health and social care?


It highlights examples of charities not only rearranging their own services in response to the pandemic but often also helping guide NHS services. 

However, it says the initiative to do so came almost invariably from the charities themselves, with little or no forethought from the NHS, policymakers, or other public service leaders. 

There is also no guarantee charities can sustain themselves if faced with an extended restriction on their main fundraising activities or that they will be able to fill the growing gap between public services and public needs in priority areas. 

What charities can do is lead the way in innovation and partnership working and offer a unique quality of care. 

To do so they will need to be fully integrated into policy development as well as policy delivery. 

Click on the link below to download the report in full.

The London School of Economics and Political Science