A new Social Enterprise Unit designed to encourage innovation and entrepreneurialism in social care and health was established yesterday in the Department of Health.
The new unit will encourage social enterprises to involve staff and service users in designing and delivering services tailored to meet people’s needs while achieving a greater value for money.
“The voluntary and community sector work very hard in the community and are well placed to understand what people need,” said care services minister Ivan Lewis. “They can help us fulfil our White Paper commitment to improve the quality of services, making them more flexible and available closer to home.”
“Getting the third sector more involved in providing services will bring wider benefits by recycling proceeds back in to the community.”
The government will set up a Social Enterprise Fund from 2006 to help with set-up cists.
The announcement came as prime minister Tony Blair announced that the voluntary sector would have more involvement in the provision of community equipment such as wheelchairs.