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Right to Request Social Enterprise Scheme

Volume 518: debated on Tuesday 16 November 2010

I am announcing a third, and final, wave of 32 national health service organisations that will join the Department of Health’s “Right to Request” social enterprise scheme.

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.

This scheme empowers staff to harness their entrepreneurial skills and exercise leadership to improve services for local communities through social enterprise.

The projects include a wide range of primary and community care for children, families and vulnerable people, such as dental, physiotherapy, bereavement and podiatry services. The proposals range from single service lines to whole provider arms.

These latest projects join the existing group of 29 “Right to Request” projects, bringing the total number participating in the scheme to 61. This represents a major milestone in the delivery of the White Paper commitment to create a vibrant social enterprise sector, and a substantial move towards the transformation of community services.

The growth of social enterprise is a priority for the Government. Social enterprises play a vital role in delivering innovative services and creating capable and confident communities. I am committed to enabling these organisations to have a significant role in the running of health and social care services across the country.

A list of the third wave of projects has been placed in the Library.