Given the challenges facing our NHS and social care services, Power to Change is exploring the ways that community business can deliver health and social care provision at a local level. This could include community businesses delivering things like nursery services, dementia support groups and mental health support.
Our research has revealed that community businesses are already making a positive impact on health and wellbeing in their local areas, but we want to see how they can fill the gaps in the health and social care market and provide alternatives to some current mainstream provision. By examining what the sustainable services and business models are and understanding how we can work with the broader market, commissioners and policymakers we aim to show how community businesses are part of a brighter future for health and social care. We believe that community businesses can help improve the current health and social care system by delivering both preventative activities and high quality formal services that are rooted within communities and creating and maintaining good jobs within the local community. We will be gathering evidence over the coming years to support this. That’s why we are investing in developing the health and social care community business market by:
- Developing a Community of Practice for community businesses and similar models which are delivering health and/or social care services
- Awarding a small number of targeted grants aimed at building evidence of the viable models for community businesses in the sector
- Working intensively in a few places to explore how community businesses and the broader health or social care system in a place can work best with each other and for the communities they serve
- Commissioning a range of research in conjunction with our Research Institute supporting relevant events exploring the conditions within a place that facilitate and support community businesses delivering Health and Social Care services
- Working in partnership with other organisations and infrastructure bodies with which we have aligning priorities in both formal and informal ways