Social Finance

PublicationsA new way to invest in better healthcare


This report is about the potential applicability of Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) in the health field. The SIB is a financial mechanism where investor returns are aligned with social outcomes. The SIB is based on a contract with government in which the government commits to pay for an improvement in social outcomes for a defined population. Investors fund a range of preventative interventions with the goal of improving the contracted outcomes. If and as the outcomes improve, investors receive payments from government.

To widespread interest, the first SIB was launched in September 2010. Its aim is to reduce reoffending among short sentence male prisoners leaving Peterborough prison.

Social Finance believes that the reach of the Social Impact Bond
model is wider than Criminal Justice. We asked Professor Paul Corrigan, a leading health adviser, to assess the suitability of the SIB model for the NHS. This report presents his thoughts. We hope that his report provokes a thoughtful debate on how, or alternatively if, financial mechanisms such as Social Impact Bonds, might fund new interventions, improve people’s well-being and ultimately lead to a real change in the health system.

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