Quote of the week
“We manage our books really well and we try to generate some surplus; we don’t call it profit. It’s not about generating income to increase salaries and get sports cars; it’s about putting it back.”
— Jane Grey
Inclusion Healthcare in Leicester, England is a Pathfinder social enterprise project under the Big Society initiative. Its goal is to “improve the health and well-being of the homeless and other marginalized groups of people through the delivery of responsive and high quality healthcare services.”
Under the Big Society reforms, public sector employees now have the right to ask to run services themselves. So the nurses and doctors who ran the centre as public servants now have a five-year contract to deliver general practice services to homeless people.
Inclusion Healthcare is a Cabinet Office Pathfinder. As a result of this status, it is getting support and mentorship in areas where the team is relatively inexperienced – such as business management – from KPMG. Jane Grey, public sector nurse turned executive director, notes that being a Pathfinder is “advantageous both for the Cabinet Office, because they get to know what’s happening on the ground, and for us because we’re able to inform policy, raise our profile and have a voice to put the needs of vulnerable and hard-to-reach client groups on the agenda.”
Inclusion Healthcare hasn’t just been turned loose by the National Health Service. Many of its key performance indicators were monitored monthly, though that has moved to a three-month assessment that reflects an increased confidence in the facility’s management.
As a not-for-profit social enterprise any surplus goes back into developing patient services, training and development, and the wider community.
When asked what it was like to go from being a civil servant to a social enterprise entrepreneur, Grey laughed. “(It was) quite scary. Actually, if I’m brutally honest, it was terrifying and exhilarating at the same time, which I suppose is a complete contradiction in terms. But the overriding emotion was that it was absolutely the right thing to do.”
Thanks to the generous support of KPMG, we will have more on this topic in the February edition of CGE.