Philip Baxendale Fellowship Award: Spin out pioneer rewarded for legacy

As co-founder of the UK’s first health spin out, Professor Jo Pritchard MBE ventured where no-one had before and in doing so has left a legacy of thousands more employee owners in the UK.

It is her role as a pioneer, paving the way and supporting the transition of hundreds of public sector spin outs at the same time as leading CSH Surrey to grow and thrive as a social enterprise that has seen the judges award this prestigious accolade to Jo as she retires after 11 years leading the first-of-its-kind business she co-established.

Jo believed that a different model, an organisation owned by its employees operating as a social enterprise, could be more effective in delivering community healthcare services within the NHS.

In 2006, CSH Surrey was formed, the very first employee owned healthcare organisation to serve the National Health Service.

In the 11 years since then Jo has grown CSH from its original 450 co-owners to over 1500 today and has inspired many more organisations to follow suit in spinning out of the public sector.

Acting as an advisor to the government on a number of its policies to support employee owned mutual social enterprises, as well as supporting other groups of staff that are going through this journey, she leaves behind an impressive legacy and a strong organisation.

Jo has also given her time to serve as board member to the Employee Ownership Association board and as vice chair of the Social Enterprise Coalition’s health and social care forum.

A nurse by profession, Jo has a background of practitioner roles in adult and neonatal intensive care and cardiothoracic nursing, community nursing and health visiting. Before forming CSH Surrey, she was lead nurse at the former East Surrey Health Authority and, then director of nursing and primary care at East Elmbridge and Mid Surrey Care Trust.

Her belief that if someone owns something then they will have more pride has been well-founded with a 92% engagement score in CHS Surrey’s last staff survey.

Through her enthusiasm, Jo has inspired hundreds of co-owners who share her passion and commitment to deliver the highest levels of compassionate care to CSH’s patients and clients.

Judge Ewan Hall, Director at UK Employee Ownership Awards Sponsor Baxendale said: “This award has great significance to our business, as it was created in the name of Baxendale’s visionary founder, Philip Baxendale, who took his family business into employee ownership 32 years ago enabling employees to share in wealth creation, participation and fulfilment from working in the company of their fellow owners.

“Judges felt that Jo’s role as a pioneer, using her understanding of patient care, keen business acumen and belief in the ethos of employee ownership to drive the success of the very first employee owned healthcare organisation, while also being a strong advocate and advisor inspiring and supporting the creation of other such businesses in the UK is a truly worthy winner of the 2017 award.”