Sixty-six mutuals provide £1bn of public services, Cabinet Office figures reveal

Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, says the government will continue to support 'entrepreneurial public servants'

Francis Maude
Francis Maude

There are now 66 public sector mutuals providing about £1bn of public services in the UK, according to figures announced today by the Cabinet Office.

The mutuals programme allows groups of public sector workers to spin out their services into independent, staff-controlled social enterprises, through a process known as the "right to provide".

It has been used most extensively in the health sector, where many primary care trusts have chosen to turn their provider arm into a separate healthcare social enterprise. But the model has been used by organisations as diverse as libraries, fire brigades and sports centres.

In an update on the progress of mutuals, the Cabinet Office also said that its Mutuals Support Programme had procured £1m worth of funding for the sector, which has supported 21 mutuals, some of which are already live and some of which are still in development.

Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, said: "We know front-line public servants can run their services incredibly effectively as mutual businesses, improving productivity and efficiency.

"Just looking at the huge range of organisations and sectors we are supporting through this programme shows how widely the mutual model can successfully be applied. And momentum is growing – more and more entrepreneurial public servants want to take control of the services they provide and we will continue to support them."

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