Ivan Lewis announces £27m extra for Social Enterprise

By: Information Daily Staff Writer
Published: Wednesday, February 27, 2008 - 09:53 GMT Jump to Comments

Increased funding will help social enterprises deliver health and social care services

Ivan Lewis today announced a £27 million funding boost for social enterprises, increasing the amount of money available through the Department of Health's Social Enterprise Investment Fund to £100 million.

The Social Enterprise Investment Fund supports the development of social enterprises in health and social care such as women's refuges, migraine clinics and exercise programmes for the elderly, which take account of and address the needs of a wide range of patients and services users, particularly the most vulnerable and excluded.

Social enterprises are businesses, which reinvest their profits back into the organisation or into the local community, promoting independence, well-being and social inclusion and helping to improve people's quality of life.

The increased investment will provide start-up funding and longer-term investment to emerging and existing social enterprises in health and social care.

Care Services Minister Ivan Lewis said:

"This additional investment is testimony to our confidence in social enterprise as part of the solution to commissioning world class health and social care services.

"Increasingly, we are seeing social enterprises delivering the innovative and personalised services that people rightly expect. That is why we are supporting social enterprises in health and social care through investment from the £100 million Social Enterprise Investment Fund."

The announcement of the additional funding was made simultaneously in London by Ivan Lewis and in Liverpool at the National Social Enterprise Conference by Gordon Brown, who was speaking via video link.

Jonathan Bland, Chief Executive of the Social Enterprise Coalition said:

"This is the second year in a row a significant health fund announcement has been made at our national conference and we are delighted to see the Department of Health is continuing to lead the way in its support for social enterprise.

"Across the country we have so many fantastic examples of health and care social enterprises engaging with their communities to provide high-quality services. The finance revenue provided by the fund is vital to help boost their investment readiness and ensure even more people are able to benefit from their services."

Ivan Lewis will also today present cheques to three of the projects receiving the existing 2007/08 funding:

* Luton Women's Aid provides safe accommodation, support and information to empower women experiencing domestic abuse. It has over 34 years experience and is the only refuge provider in Luton. It has a strong working relationship with the council and helps them to meet statutory requirements on refuge provision. Expertise and experience allows them to provide training to other statutory and non-statutory organisations. Their long history and close links to the community mean they have good awareness of local needs. It will receive £48,895.

* The City of London Migraine Clinic which promotes research into the causes, treatment and management of migraine and headache and provides training for medical students of Barts and The London Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistry has received £140,000. They are expanding their activities to offer specialist headache services to the NHS working with PCTs and PBC clusters. Successful partnership will increase choice for people with this condition and reduce pressure on NHS services. They can offer longer consultations at lower cost than competitors (NHS and private sector) and with short waiting times (average 6 weeks). They re-invest income and donations in services.

* Sit 'N' 'B' Fit, a Sunderland based organisation which provides seated and standing exercise classes for older and physically disabled people to promote independent living, reduce falls, improve self-esteem and mobility has received £54,000. Seated exercise is innovative because it aims to improve health and mobility in people who are often missed by mainstream services, which do not provide this type of preventative exercise. The main added value comes from people out of formal care services and the potential cost savings to the health service.

Paul Jansen, Interim CEO, the City of London Migraine Clinic said:

"The City of London Migraine Clinic aims to provide access to its unique treatment service to as many people with migraine and other primary headaches as possible. Migraine affects over 6 million people in the UK but it is still widely under-diagnosed and under-treated, in children and adults.

Thanks to the Department of Health's Social Enterprise Investment Fund, the Clinic will be in a much better position to offer its services to NHS trusts, thereby shortening waiting times and improving choice for NHS patients and service users. This will help to improve the quality of life for many thousands of people with these conditions."

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