Finance news: Course decision provokes anger

The Social Enterprise Coalition has criticised the Government's decision to stop providing funding to a course that helps nurses set up social enterprises.

The Department of Health has said it will not renew funding for the social enterprise healthcare course at Oxford University's Said Business School.

Jonathan Bland, chief executive of the coalition, said: "If the Government is serious about social enterprise in the NHS, it needs to be more proactive in supporting emerging enterprises so that the sector can grow. Without this support, the private sector is likely to dominate the emerging primary care market."

Last year, more than 800 nurses and therapists left East Elmbridge and Mid Surrey Primary Care Trust to form an employee-owned social enterprise that could bid for contracts from local health authorities.

Central Surrey Health was praised by Patricia Hewitt, the Secretary of State for Health, who called for more NHS social enterprises.

"They are very clear that, by combining the freedom and flexibility of an employee-owned organisation with the values of the NHS, they can match the care they give far more effectively to the personal needs of their users," Hewitt said.

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