Social enterprise in health report launched today
A major report revealing vast potential of social enterprises to reform health and social care delivery was launched today.
Health secretary Patricia Hewitt launched healthy business: a guide to social enterprise in health and social care today, following extensive research by a joint team from the Social Enterprise Coalition and industry legal specialists Hempsons.
Social enterprises are businesses that trade for a social purpose, reinvesting the majority of profits into the community.
At the launch Patricia Hewitt said the social enterprise model had a lot to offer the sector:
‘Social enterprises offer real potential for improving our health and social care services, whether they are innovative community-owned hospitals, groups of nurses running services from the bottom up, or businesses that train the unemployed to be skilled and committed carers.’
She said the guide would help both commissioners and new social entrepreneurs, from health workers to patients, users and members of the wider community understand how different social enterprise models work, and the advantages of them.
The report includes nine detailed case studies, highlighting the diverse range of social enterprises operating in emerging health markets and revealing their fresh approaches to service delivery.
It illustrates how the social enterprise model can empower health workers and patients to tackle deep-rooted faced by parts of the health sector such as bureaucracy, low staff morale and low patient satisfaction. Healthy business also offers advice on setting up or commissioning from a social enterprise in the health sector.
At the launch Jonathan Bland, the CEO of the Social Enterprise Coalition said that by investing in and empowering staff, by encouraging patient involvement and by using profits where possible to regenerate their local area, social enterprises, as shown in this report, are achieving some amazing results.
‘The combination of savvy business skills with a commitment to the community leads to high-quality and efficient services which are designed to meet the specific needs of a local area.’
Hempsons, one of the UK’s leading law firms in the healthcare and charity sectors, brought in specialist lawyers from its commercial, employment and property disciplines, to work with the Coalition on the report. Ian Hempseed, head of its Charities and Social Enterprises team said the guide would be ‘invaluable’.
‘Using case studies from across the country, this report demonstrates the ingenuity and flexibility of business models being created by social enterprises to meet the needs of service users.
‘This report will be an invaluable guide both for social enterprises themselves and for the health and social care organisations which commission services from them.’
The guide was launched to an audience of key health policy makers, including representatives from Primary Care Trusts, local authorities and professional bodies as well as GPs and other health professionals from across the UK at a reception in the Riverwalk@Oxo, Oxo Tower Wharf, London on Monday, March 26 at 5.30pm.
The report can be downloaded here: http://www.socialenterprise.org.uk/Page.aspx?FH=documents%2fsocialenterprise_primary_community_care.pdf
Source: Social Enterprise Coalition