Co-Operatives UK Report

Hardly a month goes by without another horror story in the press and media about a disturbing state of affairs in our health and care services. The prosecutions at Winterbourne View, the massive collapse and public sector rescue of Southern Cross are symptomatic of a national care service system in crisis. Is there a democratically accountable ownership model for health and care services that could make a difference? Quite simply, could the active membership and co-operative governance of workers, service users, volunteers and family members rebuild public trust in care services and put an end to cruelty and neglect through an ownership transformation solution by stakeholders that is socially inclusive? These fundamental questions are the focus of this study.

This report reviews best practice in the co-operative health and social care services; and through a comparative review, draws lessons from international experience of relevance to the UK. In a growing number of countries from Europe to Canada and Japan, diverse co-operative models of social care are expanding and developing creative new systems of accountability with dynamic forms of inclusive community membership and ownership.