TWO members of the Cabinet Office say they were “inspired” by their visit to a new social enterprise in Bispham this week. Ministers Rob Pomfret and Julian le Grand visited the former Bispham Nurse Led Rehabilitation Unit which became one of the first NHS businesses of its type to become a fully fledge social enterprise on April 1st this year.

Mr le Grand, Chair of Mutuals Taskforce

Mr le Grand, who is Chair of Mutuals Taskforce, a body that oversees social enterprise developments in the public sector, said: “We found our visit to Spiral quite inspiring – and we are very much looking forward to our next one!

“With its processes for staff involvement and engagement, Spiral is a real pioneer, and one that I am convinced is going to serve as a model for others to emulate. “We were really impressed by the friendly and professional atmosphere, by the obvious care and attention that the staff were devoting to their patients, and by the quality of the facilities. ”

Tracey Bush, Spiral’s Manager Director, said:

“The Cabinet Office has been very supportive of the move to Social Enterprise for Spiral Health and we were delighted to see them visit the Bispham unit last week. “They spent time looking round the Nurse Led Therapy Unit and then met with various staff to discuss the strategic direction for the organisation and also how we have ensured the involvement and engagement of the staff. “It was an excellent visit and we are delighted with the feedback we have received. ”

The Bispham unit was one of the first NHS facilities in the country to take up the challenge to be a public sector social enterprise, alongside other organisations such as Havering’s Youth and Library Services and Stockport’s Further Education College. These projects are now running services formerly operated by local or central government or public sector, often through charitably minded community concerns. Spiral Health will operate as a Community Interest Company (CIC), which is subject to the same discipline and rigour as all other Limited Companies. As a CIC, Spiral is committed to operating responsibly and to re-investing all of its profits back into the company for the benefit of the community which it serves. Cabinet Office Minister, Francis Maude, has previously backed the move, saying: “We both need to be and want to be more open to different ways of doing things. “Mutuals set public sector workers free, to let them take control of their organisations and have more control and autonomy over how things are run. ”

Further information

For further information please call Derek Quinn, Communications Manager, on 01253 306673 or email.