Social Enterprises
Last Updated: March, 2019

The transformation of community health services into Social Enterprises was encouraged by the Department of Health (DoH) from 2005 onwards.

The DoH gives advice to NHS managers on how to split-off their services from the rest of the NHS. The DoH deceptively stressed the 'power' that would be given to front-line staff as a result.

In reality the views of staff are ignored when such Social Enterprises are set up. NHS trained staff would find themselves no longer NHS employees covered by NHS terms and conditions. Social Enterprises are outside the public sector and the freedom of information act does not apply. Some chose to de-recognise their staff's trade unions.

Social Enterprises are forced to complete with ruthless for-profit businesses in order to keep their contracts for community health services. Therefore it is not enough for them just to break-even each year, they must generate a surplus in order to develop and support competitive contract bidding.

This has parallels with the government's promotion of  mutualisation  to  Foundation Trusts  in 2014.