Local Partnerships has launched a fund to provide public sector spin-outs with access to loans to invest in technology to improve health and social care services.
The loans, which will range in value from £250,000 to £1 million, will help spin-outs gain access to finance that they would otherwise be unavailable to them in the commercial market. The first loans will be available from this summer and are likely to average £500,000.
Spin-outs are employee-led social enterprises previously in the public sector that provide public services.
The Technology Spin-out Fund (TSF) will be eligible to spin-outs that have already launched, and will provide technology either to help deliver and improve services or to make organisational efficiencies, such as integrating patient care records or updating systems and software.
Local Partnerships, a company jointly owned by HM Treasury and the Local Government Association, aims to help public service providers save money and improve service delivery.
TSF is jointly financed by the Department of Health and Big Society Capital, a social investment bank launched in April 2012.
Care and support minister Norman Lamb said: “Spin-outs and mutuals are driving new, innovative ways of delivering better health and care services to their local areas.
“But they need the right technology to help them – having the right systems and software can help integrate services and free up staff time to spend with patients rather than paperwork. I have seen first-hand the impressive work of many staff-led spin outs and believe this fund will support them in going even further for their patients.”
Big Society Capital’s chief executive Nick O’Donohoe said: “Health and social care services in our communities are under strain. But the growing number of social enterprises delivering these services is bringing much needed innovation to help improve care.
“Simple things like providing mobile technology to community nurses and GPs can help cut down paperwork, and mean there is more time spent with patients. This fund will help provide the finance to make these sorts of changes happen by supporting social enterprises wanting to use technology to become more efficient.”