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Right to Request social enterprises: a welcome addition to third sector delivery of English healthcare?

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Abstract:

The English National Health Service introduced the Right to Request (RtR) scheme in 2008, which enabled healthcare staff working in the public sector to 'spin out' community health services into social enterprises. Staff wanting to spin out had to apply to their primary care trust board, which was required to consider their requests and if accepted to guarantee initial contracts of between three and five years. This article reviews the RtR scheme and provides an overview of the organisations that have been launched to date. It then considers the implications of the scheme in relation to its implied objectives of improving patient care and empowering staff, as well as the impact on the health and social care system and on the third sector more widely.

Keywords: ENGLISH NHS; RIGHT TO REQUEST; SOCIAL ENTERPRISE

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1332/204080512X649414

Publication date: 2012-07-01

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  • Voluntary Sector Review publishes high-quality, peer-reviewed, accessible papers on third sector research, policy and practice. It is an invaluable cutting-edge resource for all those researching or working in the fast-growing voluntary, community and wider third sectors.

    The journal covers the full range of issues relevant to voluntary sector studies, including: definitional and theoretical debates; management and organisational development; financial and human resources; philanthropy; volunteering and employment; regulation and charity law; service delivery; civic engagement; industry and sub-sector dimensions; relations with other sectors; social enterprise; evaluation and impact. Voluntary Sector Review covers voluntary sector studies from a variety of disciplines, including sociology, social policy, politics, psychology, economics, business studies, social anthropology, philosophy and ethics. The journal includes work from the UK and Europe, and beyond, where cross-national comparisons are illuminating. With dedicated expert policy and practice sections, Voluntary Sector Review also provides an essential forum for the exchange of ideas and new thinking.

    Rigorous and stimulating, Voluntary Sector Review is an indispensable tool for everyone who values empirically-grounded, theoretically-informed and policy-relevant reviews of the future direction of the voluntary sector.

    Editors: Nick Acheson (Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland), Bernard Harris (University of Strathclyde, UK), Rob Macmillan, (University of Birmingham, UK)

    The journal is published in association with the Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN) and a print copy of the journal is a membership benefit.

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