Stepping Out NOW                                November 2014
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Mutuals in Health

Could an NHS Trust become a Public Service Mutual?

Up until recently, that hasn't looked very likely at all but now nine NHS Trusts are to explore the potential for them to become employee-led organisations.

These are: Moorfields Eye Hospital, the Norfolk and Norwich NHS Foundation Trust, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Trust, Leicestershire NHS Trust, Wirral NHS Trust, Tameside NHS Trust, Oxleas NHS Trust, South Sussex NHS Trust and Liverpool Chest Hospital NHS Trust.

Why are these trusts interested in mutualisation?  In short, they are keen to reap the dividend that existing Public Service Mutuals gain from a more engaged workforce: happier staff, lower sickness absence, better staff retention, greater productivity and a high standard of care.

Of course, whether this happens or not will depend on many factors, not least the lie of the political land after May 2015.  Whoever wins is going to have to give this a serious look because the results in the 42 NHS organisations that stepped out after 2010 have been impressive. 

Take Provide CIC, not only has it won a National Business Award but the Care Quality Commission,  the same people who are uncovering all sorts of problems in the wider NHS, found their services to be of a very high standard. Or CHUMS, the child bereavement service which has expanded its services dramatically after they became an independent organisation in 2012.  

There is another answer to the problems of the NHS beyond the usual 'More Money'. Productivity in the NHS stalled many years ago and is now way behind that found in other sectors. Raising it, is about giving the people who work in the NHS a much bigger say in the organisation. 

Mutuals in healthcare have shown the way.  Let's hope we see more.


Trade Up: Free Autumn UK Roadshow

Stepping Out are just over half way through the Autumn Roadshow 'Trade-Up' to help Councils understand the real potential of Alternative Delivery Vehicles and commercialisation.

With contributions from a range of organisations that have demonstrated the financial, transformational and quality impacts that can be achieved, the event has proven to be a real success with frequent comments of the event exceeding expectations and being motivational, informative, inspiring, needed, stimulating, beneficial, excellent and engaging.

We thank all of our excellent speakers who have been the highlight for many delegates.

We do still have a couple of spaces left in the following locations 

Dates and locations in the Diary:

Bath - 24th November - 1 place left
Salford - 25th November - 2 places left

To book a place or express an interest in attending, contact us at or to register click on the location above. 


Private sector Big Winners on Transforming Rehabilitation

Private companies Sodexo and Interserve took the lion's share of contracts to run England's Probation Services over the next few years.

While some social enterprises and mutuals are delivery partners to the 'big boys', none, including  'Aspire2Change', the mutual led by Essex Probation staff, on their own.

For some this has raised difficult questions about whether mutuals will ever form part of the delivery landscape or whether only very large companies will take the big contracts.    

Here we have collected the best of these pieces for you….

By Matt Robinson, Director of Strategy for Big Society Capital for the Guardian.

By Antony Hilton in the Evening Standard


Already a Mutual - We have a couple of things for you.

Research Request: How well are mutuals really doing?

Cabinet Office are conducting a survey of the 101 Public Service Mutuals that have now gone live.  This will provide critical data to support the sector, offering the evidence of what differences mutuals are making to staff, service users and public services.  If you are one of the 101 and have not yet completed the survey please do so asap. 

You can access the survey here:  

The results will be used to showcase the successes of mutuals across the country, and the questions have been designed to ensure the Cabinet Office can help make the case for greater social investment in public service mutuals. The survey is anonymous, and all results will be aggregated.

Upcoming Event

Stepping Out will be running an event in early 2015 aimed at those 101 mutuals on how to 'Win' those contracts and how to prepare to bid. News will follow shortly.


To Swindon's SEQOL on winning the Philip Baxendale Public Sector Mutual award 2014

Of Note

What should true integrated care look like?

Sodexo and Interserve win

NHS England chief plays down outcomes of BCF

It is Global Entrepreneurship Week @GEWUK and #GEWConnect

Good Reads:

Who will fund Steven's five year NHS plan?

Social Investors need to work on their image

Five Years Forward - NHS

Will Unions ever work with Mutualisation?


Good Luck to Realise Futures CIC who have been nominated in the Trailblazing Newcomer category of the SE100 awards on 24th November 2014

Good Deals 24th and 25th November 2014

Support and investment to grow your business
If you are looking for support to grow your social business contact us 07887 414042 or

Join Our Talent Pool!
We get involved in some fascinating assignments and have associate opportunities for people with particular skills and experience that will help move our clients forward.  If you have a talent that you think those setting up and developing new public service delivery models could benefit from then we’d love to hear from you.  Send a CV and covering note to Rob Fountain at and let’s start the conversation.
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