Spiral Health, the Fylde Coast social enterprise which runs two nurse-led hospitals for the NHS, has been awarded the title of Social Enterprise of the Year by SELNET (the Social Enterprise Lancashire Network

Since April 2012, when it was the first social enterprise to take over an NHS hospital unit, Spiral Health’s innovative approach to patient care has saved the NHS millions of pounds. This saving has been achieved by caring for patients, many of whom are older people,  medically  and emotionally, ensuring they ready for the challenge of returning home after surgery or a long illness. Patients have recuperated more quickly at Spiral Health’s community-based Bispham and Rossall rehabilitation units than they would on an acute hospital ward and 97 per cent have returned home successfully, saving the public purse £2. 7m to date. Spiral Health, which employs 80 people and cared for nearly 900 patients last year,  has also:

  • Taught nearly 500 children to wash their hands properly, thus helping them to avoid catching flu or Norovirus, the winter vomiting bug. The ‘Healthy hands – healthy you’ project was created by Spiral Health and is funded by a Big Lottery grant.
  • Run an innovative ‘physiotherapy at home’ programme for patients coming from Blackpool’s Victoria hospital. This saved the hospital  72 bed nights over Easter, a time of peak demand.
  • Won national acclaim for its service to patients, competing against major hospital trusts to be shortlisted for Nursing Times, Health Service Journal and Kate Granger patient care awards.

Chief executive Tracey Bush said, “We have wonderful staff and volunteers and this award win just confirms what I already knew – that they are the best social enterprise team in the region. “I truly believe that social enterprise has a role in the provision of local healthcare. At Spiral Health we have an energised work force which owns the company and cares about its reputation. We have the autonomy to make our own decisions and stand by them. “We are a creative organisation and all our ideas come from the team – and changes are implemented by them with great energy and determination. Ultimately, we are judged by the quality of care we provide and patient feedback has been exceptional. One hundred per cent of our patients would recommend us to friends and family. ”

Liz  Tapner, chief executive of SELNET, said, “Social Enterprise of the Year is one of the highlights of the annual Selnet Enterprise In Society Awards.

The judging panel were blown away by the work undertaken by Spiral Health. They demonstrated a clear vision and drive to achieve it. The quality of their work was also clear to see. “Personally I am delighted to see them achieve this award, I regard the team very highly and as an exemplary model to other social enterprises in Lancashire. ”.