Twelve public sector projects to be run as mutuals

Francis Maude announces details of Pathfinder initiatives, which will involve public sector staff working with voluntary organisations

Francis Maude
Francis Maude

Francis Maude, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, has announced details of 12 public sector projects that will be run as mutuals by public sector staff working with voluntary organisations.

The projects, described by the Cabinet Office as "public service spin-offs", are part of the government’s new Pathfinder initiative, under which public services will be delivered by groups of public service employees that work directly with other local groups.

They will receive advice from staff at several firms, including the John Lewis Partnership, accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and consultancy KPMG.

In one of the projects, NHS staff in Leicester will set up a social enterprise to provide joined-up services for homeless people. In another, the council-run Lambeth Resource Centre in south London will work with service users and voluntary organisations to provide rehabilitation support for people with physical and sensory impairments.

Maude said: "The potential for public sector staff to spin out is enormously exciting. The new models will show us how we best support mutuals, tackling problems when they first arise, not expensively managing them over many years.

"This is a big society approach, decentralising power so people can deal with the issues that concern them. We must not be afraid to do things differently if we are to provide better services for less money."

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