Hot Off the Press: The latest key messages from Government on Public Service Mutuals

Who are the Mutuals Team? The Mutuals Team sits within the Government Inclusive Economy Unit (GIEU). GIEU works across government, the private and voluntary sectors to develop innovative ways of commissioning, funding and delivering public services, and to tackle social problems.

The Mutuals Team is helping to reform public services by putting staff at the heart of organisational decision making and service delivery. For example, instead of a care home or a library being run by the local council, or a mental health service by the NHS, staff are empowered to take control of the service and operate it independently for the good of their customers, colleagues and communities. These organisations are Public Service Mutuals, or mutuals for short. They’re one of a number of alternative delivery models that public sector organisations can consider to reform and improve the delivery of public services.

The teamworks in four main ways:
● Designing and delivering programmes to support growth and development
● Building the evidence base for public service mutuals
● Developing and influencing government policy throughout Whitehall to help mutuals to develop and thrive
● Advocating and promoting the mutual model across England

What are Public Service Mutuals? Public Service Mutuals (Mutuals) are organisations that:
● have left the public sector (also known as spinning out),
● continue to deliver public services and have a positive social impact, and
● have a significant degree of employee ownership, influence and/or control in the way they’re run.
Mutuals can take a variety of legal forms, but most are community interest companies, community benefit societies or charities.

What are the benefits of Public Service Mutuals? The latest 2018 State of the Sector report showed that Mutuals can improve public service delivery by:
● Genuine employee participation in how organisations are run – 85% of mutuals claimed to have a happier workforce than before becoming a mutual
● Reducing bureaucracy – 90% reported faster or easier decision making than when part of the public sector
● Increasing innovation – 66% developed new products or services in 2017

How is the government supporting Public Service Mutuals? Support Programmes
1. Mutual Support Programme 2 (MSP2): provides professional advice to help the
creation of new mutuals, and to help new or existing mutuals grow and diversify.
2. The Mutuals Partnership Support Programme (MPSP): is supporting a number of mutuals to establish partnerships, allowing them to diversify their services and achieve long-term sustainability as well as bid for larger contracts. 3. Mentoring Scheme: provides one-to-one mentoring sessions for senior leaders.Research Our support programmes are underpinned by a robust programme of quantitative and qualitative research:

1. The quantitative “State of the Sector” reports will be conducted and published
annually, in 2018, 2019 and 2020. 2. The qualitative Longitudinal Case Studies aim to understand the particular
opportunities and challenges faced by mutuals, and how these differ across sectors, locations and ages.
Future Support Based on findings from the research, the Mutuals Team will continue to evolve its package of support for the Mutuals sector to thrive. Through 2018, these include:
● Learning & development for senior leadership and front-line staff
● How to improve the commissioning environment
● Improving access to information and other sources of support
● Raising awareness and understanding of the mutual model across the public sector

To find out more
This animated video helps to explain the model.

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