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Are social businesses the way to bring benefit to local communities?

City Health Care Partnership CIC is a growing co-owned, for better profit business. We are run as a Community Interest Company (CIC) and our services help minimise the need for acute care in hospital through early interventions, community-based treatment and the promotion of healthy lifestyles.

We provide over 75 health and care services to communities across numerous geographical areas and employ over 1,500 people. Last year we had contact with over 1 million patients.

As a social business, we reinvest all our profits back into our staff, services and the communities we work in

As a social business, we reinvest all our profits back into our staff, services and the communities we work in and put our patients and our people at the heart of what we do, so the whole community benefits from our work as the people who use our services.

Our charity, City Health Care Partnership Foundation, supports our social values by managing and monitoring many of our social investments. It has distributed over £180,000 to voluntary and community groups that offer health and wellbeing benefits to local people. One recipient said,

The grant was a godsend. To see the happy smiling faces and constant laughter of children who cannot easily communicate as they engaged wholeheartedly in the fun, physical activities told the whole story. We are so very, very grateful.’

For each £1 we spend, £33.30 of value us delivered for those grass route projects (that is, our Social Return on Investment, or SROI).

As a co-owned business, all permanent staff are able to buy a £1 share in the company, giving them a real stake in its success.

There are also plenty of benefits for our own staff — our Foundation sponsors colleagues involved in fundraising activities for charity and our staff are encouraged to undertake pro bono charity work. And as a co-owned business, all permanent staff are able to buy a £1 share in the company, giving them a real stake in its success. It also allows them to feedback, through representatives, to our executive board.

Our business has grown too, offering a broader range of services across a wider area which benefit local communities. For example, we have recently won contracts to provide a new depression and anxiety service for Hull; a stop-smoking service in Knowsley and St Helen’s Merseyside; pain management services in North and North East Lincolnshire; and we are running a GP practice and minor injuries unit in Bridlington, East Yorkshire. Just last week we were awarded by competitive tender prison health care in Hull and the Humber (Everthope and the Wold’s Prisons).

Through our Community Partnership Forum, which is part of the organisation’s governance structure, we work with local community and voluntary groups to engage with the people who use our services. This helps us to innovate, inspire and invest in them — we will be doing more and more of this in future.

Since February 2014 we have sought to determine how the suppliers we use will have a positive impact on our local economy. We aim to bring £25.04 worth of benefits for every £1 we spend (our SROI).

We also have a sustainable environment policy which is designed to reduce the number of miles we travel, not only to reduce the overall cost of business travel but also to increase the amount of time our clinical people spend with patients.


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