Mary Warrilow, Kris Jones
British Journal of Nursing, Vol. 21, Iss. 21, 22 Nov 2012, pp 1256 - 1261
The introduction of social enterprises into healthcare has brought about opportunities and challenges for providers and clinicians. Dudley Lymphoedema Service, a team originally of five staff members, has undergone radical changes. The team has successfully gone through the Department of Health's right to request programme to move from a primary care trust service to become a social enterprise, LymphCare UK, which is a community interest company. There are only approximately 40 NHS services throughout the country that have taken this option as part of government changes and plans to put clinicians at the helm of services. Becoming a social enterprise has led to the service becoming bespoke, more responsive, flexible and innovative. Stepping out of the NHS has not been an easy journey but is one that the team is confident will improve outcomes for the organisation and the patients it serves.