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Right to Request Social Enterprise Scheme

Volume 514: debated on Tuesday 27 July 2010

I will be announcing shortly the second wave of National Health Service organisations that will join the Department’s “Right to Request” social enterprise scheme. Details will be placed in the Library of the House when available.

The “Right to Request” gives all primary and community care staff employed by primary care trusts (PCTs) the right to put a request to their PCT board to set up a social enterprise to deliver health and social care services. Each of these organisations has received the approval of their PCT and strategic health authority (SHA) to pursue plans to set up a social enterprise. With appropriate support, these projects should go on to become successful and financially viable social enterprises that strengthen the delivery of tailored health and social care services in the NHS.

The projects include a wide range of health and social care services, including those for children, young people and adults, and end of life, mental health and disability services. They range from single service lines to whole provider arms.

This announcement is part of the ambition set out in “Equity and Excellence: liberating the NHS”:

“to create the largest and most vibrant social enterprise sector in the world”.

The initiative to encourage and support social enterprises to deliver public services is the first of its kind in the world. The scheme empowers staff to harness their entrepreneurial skills and exercise leadership to improve services for local communities through social enterprise.

I am committed to supporting the creation and expansion of mutuals, co-operatives, charities and social enterprises and want to enable these groups to have much greater involvement in the running of health and social care services.