Devolution of health budgets to regions offers opportunity to make use of mutual expertise
25th February 2015
Devolution has hit the headlines with the news that local councils and commissioning bodies in the Greater Manchester Region will become responsible for handling the area’s health and social care budget. Benenden health highlights the role that mutuals could play in this local integration of services.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne MP, is due to transfer the Greater Manchester Region’s £6 billion health and social care budget to the control of local councils and health groups – taking effect from April 2016 and likely to be within the responsibility of a directly-elected Mayor for the region.
With integration of health and social care becoming an increasing priority at local levels, benenden continues to highlight the potential in making use of the strength of mutuals in local commissioning of health services.
Lawrence Christensen, Group Marketing Director at benenden said: “Any moves that bring more integrated care for those in need should be welcomed. We call upon those who are developing the structures for Manchester and the cities - and regions that will follow - to consider the role that mutuals could play in delivering better health outcomes for their local communities. Responding to local need is key and health mutuals like benenden have a long history of being able to support their communities in this way.“
At benenden, we believe:
- Mutuals should be seen as a viable alternative to ‘for-profit’ delivery.
- Mutuals are generally associated with increased employee and customer satisfaction – for example, in a 2014 Treating Customers Fairly Survey, 91% of member respondents said they trust benenden more than other similar firms they deal or have dealt with†.
- Mutuals already operate under the founding NHS principle of comprehensive inclusiveness.
- Mutuals are truly customer-focused and must, by default, act in the interest of their members. Benenden health has won the Moneywise most trusted private healthcare provider, four years running.
- Mutuals’ surpluses are re-invested for improved services. As such, they are often trusted more highly over purely for-profit organisations.
For more information on how benenden advocates the future of mutuals in healthcare, take a look at the Respublica Report, sponsored by benenden.
†Base: 278 (all respondents to the survey who did not select don’t know/can’t say)