Beanbags and Bullsh!t

Another new year comes around and, with tedious inevitably, the social enterprise definition debate rears its many heads. The trigger for the latest exchanges is the fact that, shortly before the Christmas break, the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, fulfilled his duty under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and came up with a definition for social enterprise.

As reported previously, a relatively insignificant side dish amidst Andrew Lansley’s 18 month-long  legislative dog’s dinner was the decision that contracts to run the new bodies set-up to scrutinize health and social care under the act, local HealthWatch organisations, should be delivered by ‘a social enterprise’.

Specifically, the Act states that a HealthWatch contract should be delivered by an organisation that:

(a) is a social enterprise, and

(b) satisfies such criteria as may be prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State”

Many local authorities, not unreasonably given local HealthWatch organisations…

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