Social enterprise campaign wins Government funding for healthcare staff

After prolonged campaigning with and for our members, today the Government has announced the ‘Covid backlog bonus’ in the NHS pay deal will also include social enterprise healthcare providers.

Social enterprises form a vital part of the NHS family, delivering over £1bn of services and employing tens of thousands of staff – but were not paid the bonus given to NHS staff earlier this year, despite working under the same pressures and the same contracts.

Since early 2023, we’ve worked closely with social enterprises affected by this injustice to push for their inclusion in the pay deal: lobbying Government, partnering with healthcare bodies and trade unions, speaking to media, gathering petition signatures and even taking legal action.

Following this campaign, the Government has decided to make funding available to social enterprise staff. The health minister said: “This will ensure hardworking healthcare staff and the organisations they work for are not financially disadvantaged as a result of the NHS pay deal, and means they will receive their backlog bonus for their efforts during the pandemic.”

Our chief executive Peter Holbrook CBE commented:

“We’re pleased to see the Government acknowledge the critical role of social enterprises in the NHS family, with tens of thousands of staff delivering vital care across the country and services reinvesting profits to help local communities. We have campaigned tirelessly for our members to get the recognition and reward they deserve, and will continue to hold the Department accountable for delivering on the Minister’s promise that crucial healthcare staff won’t be financially disadvantaged by working in social enterprises.”

A failure to fund the bonus would have undervalued the hard work of staff and risked the long-term sustainability of the social enterprises themselves, leaving services and patients vulnerable. While this is a fantastic campaigning win, we’ll keep fighting to ensure the importance of social enterprise in the NHS is recognised and supported.  

We would like to thank all our healthcare members for their concerted efforts in driving this change, and everyone who joined the movement in support of social enterprises, lending their voices to the collective call for justice.

You can read more in this piece on BBC News.