2nd August 2010
Care Services Minister gives Big Society boost for NHS enterprises
A scheme that allows NHS staff to drive forward innovative projects that aim to transform patient care was given a boost by Care Services Minister Paul Burstow today.
15 projects will form the second wave of NHS organisations that want to set up social enterprises, a scheme that gives public sector workers the ability to take over the services they deliver.
The NHS arm of the scheme, known as ‘Right to Request’, gives all Primary Care Trust staff the right to request setting up social enterprises.
The new projects span two thirds of Strategic Health Authorities and include cities like London, Bristol, Leeds and Birmingham. Projects include a wide range of services like increasing access to psychological therapies, improving end of life care and a wider range of children services.
They build on the first wave of Right to Request projects that are already putting their plans into action. These include a specialist health-visiting programme in Derby that is already improving the health and well-being of some the community’s most disadvantaged children and families by offering parenting support and skills. And, a one-stop-shop for homeless people in Leicester that offers vulnerable people medical and outreach services and access to night shelters.
Care Services Minister Paul Burstow said:
“The Eden Project and the Big Issue show us what we can achieve through social enterprises.
“Instead of reaping rewards for shareholders they plough resources back into the community. NHS staff have the local know-how on how resources can best be used and I want to put them in the driving seat – and Right to Request combines NHS values with business principles in an effective way.
“Already we are seeing projects that are making a real difference. In Leicester, a GP and nurse led project has helped tailor services for the homeless and those with substance misuse problems.
“We want to empower millions of public sector workers to become their own boss and help them to deliver better services. There is still an opportunity for frontline PCT workers to be part of the next wave of the scheme in the autumn.”
Chief Executive of the Social Enterprise Coalition Peter Holbrook said:
“Social enterprises working in health and social care have a transformative impact on lives and communities by giving patients a stronger voice in the care they receive and empowering their frontline staff to be resourceful and innovative.
“The Right to Request has been a crucial initiative to support the development of social enterprises in health and social care where there is a demand and a need for something different, and encourages new ways of delivering a better, more personalised service for the public that gives greater value for money.”
Frontline PCT staff who wish to put forward proposals to deliver services through NHS enterprise should contact the Department of Health Social Enterprise Unit.
Phone: For enquiries please contact the Department of Health (DH) Media Centre on 020 7210 5221
Notes to editors
1. For further information contact the Department of Health press office on: 020 7210 5221.
2. A social enterprise is a business where surpluses are principally reinvested in the business or in the community rather than deriving profits for shareholders. There are approximately 62,000 working across all sectors in the UK and in excess of 6,000 provide health and social care services.
3. Primary care trusts are obliged to consider requests, known as a ’Right to Request’, from staff who wish to set up a social enterprise. A first wave of ‘Right to Request’ projects include a range of services that vary in value from about £300,000 to £55,000,000 and the number of staff involved in each project ranges from five to 1,300. There are currently 16 Right to Request schemes running.
4. The second wave projects include a variety of services offered by PCTs in Northamptonshire, Brent, Ealing , Knowsley, Salford, Bristol, Devon, Somerset, Swindon, Birmingham East and North, Bradford & Airedale, Leeds, North East Lincolnshire Care Trust Plus, and Rotherham.
5. Support for NHS staff considering pursuing social enterprise is available through the Department of Health Social Enterprise Unit. More information about the social enterprise programme can be found at the Department of Health Social Enterprise website.
6. The Right to Request scheme for PCT clinical staff is now accepting applications for a third, and final, wave. The Right to Request scheme will close for applications in the Autumn in line with the requirement that PCTs must separate commissioning and provision of community services by April 2011.
7. The Government’s White Paper ‘Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS’ sets out the intention for all Trusts to become Foundation Trusts and that staff will be given the opportunity to transform their organisations into employee-led social enterprises that they themselves control, freeing them to use their front-line expertise to structure services around what really works for patients.
(Source – News Distribution Service for Government and the Public Sector)