Nearly a fifth of UK social enterprises focus primarily on health or social care. Could they help ease the NHS crisis, wonders October ’14 Associate, Rahul Agarwal.
Why is the National Health Service facing problems?
My first placement, at the North East London Commissioning Support Unit, underlined the major pressures the NHS faces:
All of this while maintaining quality – not easy, with an extra £8 billion needed by 2020 fill the looming funding gap.
I don’t have the solution, but I did see a glimmer of hope in social enterprise. 18% of UK social enterprises primarily focus on health or social care; many have been “plugging in” or reinforcing areas of the national service for years. The government, meanwhile, has invested £120 million in 6000 social enterprises since 2007, while its Social Value Act requires commissioners to consider local economic, social or environmental benefits in awarding public contracts – benefits that most social enterprises naturally provide.
What do such organisations offer our health system? Here’s my take: Read more →