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For-profit providers to sweep in

GPs attempting to form social enterprises to fend off the private sector are being hamstrung by tangled Government bureaucracy and lack of start-up cash, a new report concludes.

Without Government help there is a distinct risk that for-profit providers 'will sweep into primary and community care unchallenged', according to influential think-tank the King's Fund.

Report co-author Dr Richard Lewis, senior fellow in health policy with the King's Fund, said that only 'heroes' would be able to develop social enterprises ­ a business model with community objectives which reinvests surpluses to the benefit of the local population.

'It's not going to come about of its own accord,' he said. 'This needs enablement by Government.'

He suggested social enterprises should be offered start-up funds, business case models and draft templates to circumvent complex bureaucracy.

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