Member spotlight: CSH Surrey

CSH Surrey (previously known as Central Surrey Health) was the first of its type to spin out from the public sector in 2006. It is a pre-eminent example of a ground-breaking and successful employee-owned social enterprise that continues to provide the community nursing and therapy services in mid Surrey and has also diversified into offering private care services that are delivered by employee-owners with the same dedication and commitment to high quality and compassionate care.

Government ministers recognised the power of the employee-owned model in transforming public sector services and thus its Mutuals Taskforce and Policy was born – enabling more groups of public sector workers to set up their own employee-owned services.

CSH Surrey’s Managing Directors – nurse and health visitor Jo Pritchard and speech and language therapist Tricia McGregor – firmly believe employee ownership has enabled their teams to transform the local community NHS services, meaning their patients now benefit from more innovative and higher quality services.

This has been possible through the significant culture change that employee ownership has brought about with CSH Surrey – through involving, empowering and listening to its co-owners in all aspects of the business, from re-designing clinical services to defining CSH’s values and behaviours and recruiting new Executive Directors. The result is that CSH Surrey’s annual employee survey results now consistently outstrip the NHS staff survey in all key areas, with CSH’s 2014 overall ‘engagement score’ standing at 83%.

This is important because higher engagement is now proven* to be linked to delivery of higher quality and more compassionate patient care. By listening, responding and working together with partners and each other, CSH Surrey continues to deliver ever better patient care and benefits to the wider community. CSH’s high quality services have been recognised through an array of awards, most recently being named Finalist in the highly competitive Nursing Times Awards 2014 for an effective partnership with local hospices to support patients at the end of life, and also reaching the finals of the 2014 Integrated Care and Patient Safety Awards for a unique and innovative partnership with its local mental health trust to better support patients with long-term conditions in the community.

The shares in CSH Surrey are held indirectly on behalf of the owner employees by Guardian Shareholders, four employees selected by their peers. A Trust ensures that the values and principles of employee ownership are upheld by the Guardian Shareholders. No dividends are paid to employee owners – instead, all profits are invested back into patient care and into CSH’s Community Fund, which was set up to fulfill its social enterprise ethos. The Community Fund awards grants to local groups to support health and wellbeing projects in CSH’s local communities.

CSH’s employee owners are represented at the Board by a co-ownership council called ‘The Voice’. The Voice’s elected co-owner representatives challenge the Board on strategy and performance on behalf of all the employee owners. The questions and answers are shared throughout CSH as part of CSH’s commitment to openness and transparency. The Voice is responsible for the appointment of one Non Executive Director to the Board.

*‘Staff Care: How to Engage NHS Staff and Why it Matters’ (Point of Care Foundation 2014) and ‘Improving NHS Care Through Engaging Staff and Devolving Decisions (Kings Fund, 2014)