Five Years on – Heaven or Hell for Public Service Mutuals?

There has been plenty of attention given to how we can encourage and support the emergence of public service mutuals – but as yet there hasn’t been much thought given to what the mutuals market might look like in five years… will it be thriving and self sustaining? Or will it have floundered with public services taken back in-house or contracted out to the private sector?

To plug this hole we decided to spend some time with a group of social enterprise experts thinking about what the optimistic scenario (Heaven) and pessimistic scenario (Hell) for the public service mutuals market would be as well as an honest critique of both.

We’ve used a pretty broad interpretation of public service mutuals for our discussions: organisations journeying out of the public sector to independence delivering a variety of services.

The following is what we came up with. Imagine you are looking back from May 2016

Mutuals Heaven and Hell (pdf)

This piece has been developed together with the Transition Institute (TI) – a new, independent centre for research formed to inspire and facilitate new models of public service delivery embedding innovation and social value in the structures.

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