The Mutuals Partnership Support Programme was: A pilot programme during 2018-19 that aimed to support a small number of public service mutuals to form partnerships with other organisations as a route to growth.
By Claire Bonsignori.
The way public services are being commissioned continues to change rapidly across England. One of the challenges facing many Mutuals is that contracts are becoming wider in scope geographically, and require a more integrated, multi-discipline approach to service delivery. This often means building partnerships in order to adapt and compete.
The pilot programme aimed to better understand and test appetite, opportunities and identify barriers for Mutuals who want to collaborate with other organisations as a route to support their capacity and capability to bid for these expanding contracts, as well as aid their long term overall sustainability.
First, we embarked on a research project to analyse the need for support to develop partnerships. Once the case was made, we supported three projects across housing, health and social care. You can read the evaluation and case studies of the pilot programme to find out more about the experiences of the three recipients.
The programme was one of several strands (including the Mutuals Support Programme) aimed at improving awareness of, opportunities for, and routes into the public service mutuals sector.
In the report we make a number of recommendations to help continue to support mutuals in their all-important partnerships, ultimately allowing the relatively young and unknown sector to thrive.
If you’re a Mutual and want support in building partnerships and networks, talk to us. We can also help if you’re a public service thinking of looking at alternative models of delivery.