CSH announced as mutuals mentor

September 2010

Central Surrey Health joins John Lewis, KPMG and PWC as mentors for Government’s new ‘mutuals’ initiative in the public sector.

Central Surrey Health – the UK’s first social enterprise to leave the NHS and set up as an employee-owned business four years ago – has been selected by the Cabinet Office to help mentor the employee-owned organisations coming out of the public sector.  

Twelve fledgling public service spin-offs have been chosen by the Cabinet Office to be ‘Pathfinders’ for the rest of the public sector. As mentors, Central Surrey Health will work with and support staff on Pathfinder projects to help them develop sustainable, efficient and pioneering employee-led services. 

The ‘mutuals’ initiative forms part of the Government’s commitment to enable entrepreneurial public sector staff to take control of their services and set up as employee-led organisations.

Making the announcement today, Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude said: “The 12 Pathfinders will be supported by expert mentors from some of the country’s most successful businesses and leaders in employee ownership models. We are incredibly grateful for their support; the involvement of these successful employee-owned businesses further demonstrates the viability of public sector mutuals and I am excited about what this initiative has the potential to achieve.”

Jo Pritchard, joint Managing Director of Central Surrey Health, says: “Central Surrey Health is delighted that the benefits of employee ownership are recognised and being actively encouraged. We’re convinced of the benefits of the model for public sector services: in our experience, being employee-owned means we’re more fleet of foot and are able to do things differently. This is resulting in increased efficiencies, reduced waste and improved patient experience. We’re very much looking forward to working with a Pathfinder to help them reap the benefits of employee ownership.”

Marion Heron, associate director of commissioning at NHS Surrey, says: "Central Surrey Health has gained a reputation - and awards - for the quality of its patient care and its readiness to innovate to improve even further, making it an excellent choice to mentor new organisations who want to follow the trail it has blazed."

A spokesperson from NHS South East Coast adds: "It's exciting to see the innovative approach of Central Surrey Health being recognised in this way and we're sure they will have much to offer the organisations they mentor."

Other mentors include staff from the John Lewis Partnership, probably the country’s best-known co-owned business, as well as from PWC, KPMG, Tribal, Baxi Partnership, Care and Share Associates, Sunderland Home Care Associates, Local Partnerships, Godrevy, Greenwich Leisure, and The Office for Public Management will also be providing mentors. Leading lights in this field, such as Lord Victor Adebowale of Turning Point, have also offered to be mentors.