Exploring the potential of co-operative models in social care

Posted on Monday 4th July 2011

The Health Services Management Centre and Third Sector Research Centre hosted an event on the 30th June exploring the potential of co-operative models in social care.

Co-chaired by Robin Miller (Senior fellow at HSMC & TSRC) and Laurie Gregory (Founder of the Foster Care Co-operative) the event began by considering the broader policy environment and the potential for co-operatives to provide a solution to the long-term challenges facing social care.

Chris Herries and Nick Matthews from Co-Ops Uk provided an overview of the development of the co-operative movement and how the model has been successful in a number of sectors in the UK and in countries such as Brazil, Japan & Italy in health and social care. Professor Peter Marsh , Vice Chair of the Cabinet Office Mutuals Task Force, informed delegates of the current initiative by the English government to support public sector staff to ‘spin out’ services into ‘mutual’ organisations, including co-operatives.

The afternoon focused on the practice of running social care co-operatives ( or organisations based on co-operative principles) and heard from the leaders of three such organisations – Laurie Gregory ( Foster Care Co-operatives), Clare Wightman ( Grapevine) and Guy Turnbull ( Care and Share Associates).

Further information

For further information on this event, please contact Robin Miller, r.s.miller@bham.ac.uk