iSE | The Future of Health and Social Care

Birmingham social enterprises working in the health and well-being sector came together at iSE’s Women’s Enterprise Hub in May to explore opportunities in the changing social care and health markets.


Around a third of all funded care packages in the City are now commissioned by Citizens themselves through direct payments and personal budgets, with funding from the Council allowing individuals make their support more personal.

For those Birmingham residents not eligible for council support or those who want to buy “add on” services themselves such as cleaning, gardening or leisure activities, there are ways in which social enterprises can break into the growing “self-funders” market.

In May, iSE hosted a workshop led by Birmingham City Council’s Sharon Gentles-Garlick from the social care commissioning team and iSE’s Director of Business Development Simon Veasey.

Get connected

In the workshop, we heard more about the Council’s website Connect to Support, the “one stop shop” for providers and citizens wishing to explore direct payments. This website is a community directory and marketplace for citizens of Birmingham, where organisations can register their offer for free, from leisure activities and social groups to equipment and accommodation.


The take-aways

The clear messages coming from May’s workshop to all social enterprises were:

– Get registered on Connect to Support

– Be clear on the benefit your service will deliver for citizens. It’s an “elevator pitch” so be brief and concise

– Ensure you add a price for your service – experience shows that organisations who do not list a price often get looked over because potential customers and those supporting them to choose a service assume the service is expensive.

Further support

iSE have considerable experience in supporting social enterprises in the health and social care market. We oprovide consultancy to individual organisations, opportunities for start-up on our FUSE programme working with our partners Birmingham City Council and the West Midlands Academic Health Science Network to support change, encourage innovation and ensure quality across the sector.

For more information on future opportunities for organisations working in the health and social care field or to discuss your individual support needs contact