Social Enterprise comes to the Kemp household.
“Dad do you know what a social enterprise is?” asked my beloved daughter. “Dear Girl”, I replied, “Do you not know that your beloved father is a much loved columnist in Social Enterprise Magazine, the must have mag for social entrepreneurs?”
What really surprised Rachel by this exchange was the fact that anyone would actually be interested in my opinions on anything as she and her siblings (and her mother too come to think of it) have never been interested in my opinions since I tried to convince them that the tooth fairy was a capitalist swine.
So the reason for this question is that the unit of the NHS for which she works is currently thinking of becoming a social enterprise and she wanted to know more. In particular she asked whether I thought such a move was a good idea. My answer is very clear – yes. I like that fact that there will be flexibilities and freedoms for people to work in slightly different ways to meet slightly different societal and clinical needs. BUT and it is a big but strategies and overall budgets must be maintained by the Health Service. Furthermore I am really pleased that the new Government is going to introduce democracy into the Health Service to rectify the situation where the only elected person who can be held accountable for the NHS is the Secretary of State in London.
I don’t like private medicine or private hospitals – I believe that the state should pay for good quality treatment and that the poor should not get left behind. The NHS, however, is to my mind a big bureaucratic organisation which stifles individual initiative and responsibility.
Introducing social enterprises will let a thousand flowers bloom. It will keep money within the NHS controlled by people who want to make a profit – not take a profit. Lots of people like Rachel are now considering their future in a very different way and asking what the new potential status could mean for their patients and themselves as employees. I hope that the SEC is looking closely at talking to these people so that the considerable good practice in this field is employed.
So if you live in Manchester and want help with cognitive disorders (whatever they are!) Rachel and her mates are the ones for you.