The work of two Fylde Coast hospitals which provide NHS services, but which are run by their own nurses, has been praised by Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude at a special Downing Street reception.
The reception was held to celebrate public sector mutuals, organisations such as healthcare providers and libraries which have left the public sector, but which continue to deliver public services.
The Fylde Coast hospitals are in Bispham and Rossall and are run by social enterprise Spiral Health as nurse-led rehabilitation units. In April 2012 Bispham was the first NHS hospital unit to become a public sector mutual.
Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude said: "We need innovative new ways of delivering better services for less money, so we are helping public sector workers spin out to form mutuals.
“There are now 100 public sector mutuals across England and Wales. These are new businesses, employing 35,000 people. We know this is just the beginning of a massive transformation – we have even had interest from a fire service looking to mutualise.”
Within public sector mutuals employees have shared ownership of the organisation and play a significant role in decision-making. This can lead to improved productivity and innovation. Last year, Spiral Health achieved national recognition for its pioneering approach to compassionate patient care.
This Easter it worked with the Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group to ease patient flow, freeing up 72 bed nights on acute wards by offering suitable patients an intensive physiotherapy outreach service.
Chairman of Spiral Health, Alan Vincent, said: “Spiral Health was delighted to be invited by Francis Maude to the Government’s celebration of the success of public sector mutuals. I was proud to represent Spiral Health at that meeting which confirmed the Government’s commitment to provide quality health services, and to using mutuals to provide some of those services.”
MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, Paul Maynard, said: “It is indeed right that Spiral Health is recognised for its pioneering work. The dedication of the nurses and all their work is plain to see. I congratulate them all for this deserved recognition and I look forward to visiting them again in the future and hearing about their continued success in caring for the people of the Fylde Coast.”
Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust works in partnership with Spiral Health, commissioning its services.
Chief Executive of the Trust, Gary Doherty, said: “We are pleased that one of our partners has been recognised for being part of the growing number of public sector mutuals. The services provided by such organisations are highly beneficial to the communities they serve.”