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At the heart of general practice since 1960

£73m earmarked for social enterprises

A £73m ringfenced fund has been set up to help GPs and

other NHS staff set up non-

profit making companies providing health and social care.

Health minister Ivan Lewis has set aside the money for businesses with environmental and community-based aims, called social enterprises.

Mr Lewis said: 'Social enterprise has a strong track record of revolutionising services in other sectors, involving staff and users in the design, delivery and management of services.

'We hope to see this replicated in health and social care.'

GP-led social enterprises

• Principia Partners in Health,

a coalition of GPs, community professionals, community pharmacists. Will provide primary care including extended hours access to a population of 118,000 in Rushcliffe, Nottinghamshire.

• Willow Bank Community Interest Company, based in Stoke. Will provide a GMS practice and one-stop care, with a focus on vulnerable groups, including

lone-parent families, local homeless people and black and minority ethnic communities.

• Leicester Homeless Primary Care Service, set up to provide primary medical services to vulnerable patients. A primary care centre will be co-located with a 42-bed night shelter and YMCA drop-in centre.

• Community Docs for All, a proposal for a locally managed primary care service for the population of one ward in Weston-super-Mare. Aims to link primary care with wider health improvement and regeneration initiatives.

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