New programme to support health-focused social ventures in the Midlands

Date: 21 June 2013

The Young Foundation and NHS Arden Commissioning Support have launched a new year long support programme for social ventures in health. Their aim is to help connect high potential social ventures with NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to deliver innovative solutions to local health problems.

NHS Arden Commissioning Support works in partnership with six CCGs and public health teams across Warwickshire and Worcestershire. The most pressing health and wellbeing challenges across the area include:

  • An increasing population of frail and elderly peopleTen per cent of patients admitted to hospital as emergencies stay for more than two weeks, but these patients account for 55% of hospital bed days.
  • 1 in 6 people still smokeSmoking remains the single biggest cause of preventable damage to health, and is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease, cancer and other long term health conditions.
  • 1 in 5 children and 1 in 4 adults are obese, and the numbers are risingPeople who are obese on average live seven years less than people who have a healthy weight.
  • The number of people harming themselves through excessive alcohol consumption is increasingThe number of people under 65 being admitted to hospital and harming themselves through excessive alcohol use has more than doubled in the last five years

The Young Foundation is now looking for social ventures with imaginative ideas to tackle inequalities in the area of health and social care. The project will begin by mapping providers delivering services in the area and shortlist the most promising 15 candidates, who will receive business support to develop their social business model.

In the final stage of the project, up to six of the most successful ventures will be chosen for intensive mentoring to help them build strategic relationships with health care commissioners that may lead to investment or a commissioned contract. The deadline for ventures to apply to The Young Foundation is 16 August 2013.

Rachel Pearce, Managing Director at NHS Arden Commissioning Support said: “Health and wellbeing is an important agenda for all new NHS organisations and I am delighted that we can work in partnership with our customers and The Young Foundation to develop locally sustainable services. We are proud to be part of this exciting joint venture.”

Eleanor Cappell, Senior Associate at The Young Foundation added: “We believe that now is an exciting time to forge fruitful new partnerships between social enterprises delivering health and social care services, clinical commissioning groups and commissioning support units. There is real potential to find new solutions to challenges in health and wellbeing.”

Notes to editors:
1. Contact Alison Harvie, External Affairs Manager at The Young Foundation on 07909 912 444 or
2. Contact the NHS Arden Commissioning Support Communications Team at
3. We are The Young Foundation and we are determined to make positive social change happen. We pioneered the field of social innovation with The Open University, UpRising and Studio Schools. We work closely with individuals, communities and partners building relationships to ensure that our thinking does something, our actions matter and the changes we make together will continue to grow. ( )
4. NHS Arden Commissioning Support delivers professional, high-quality, specialist support for clinical commissioners and healthcare providers. Our team provides the expertise and innovation to support clinical decision making and improve patient experience and outcomes. By operating a one front door approach, NHS Arden Commissioning Support works closely with local authorities and other partners to provide a unique offer of integrated commissioning support across health and social care.