Health and Social Care

prevention is
not only better
healthcare but
better economics.
we are exploring
how new financial
can fund a shift
to prevention

As health and social care systems face the challenges of rising demand and severely constrained resources, social investment offers the scope to support the development of a range of better services.

Social investment can enable the transition from reactive ‘crisis’ health services to proactive preventative health provision and alternative forms of social care, by providing the funding to scale promising interventions and by helping instill a culture which combines social mission and business rigour in the delivery of services.

The Boston Consulting Group recently forecast around £150 million of new demand for social investment in health and social care by 2015 – nearly a third of total demand for such investment. Social Finance has a specialist health and social care team, which works with social enterprises, commissioners and investors to bring investment to the projects which could have a transformative impact on local health and care systems.

Corporate finance advice for social enterprises

Social Finance can enable social enterprises to scale their work through providing support for investment strategies, business planning and capital-raising. We have enabled a number of health and social care enterprises to develop their strategies for business development and raising social investment, such as Marie Curie Cancer Care and Age UK. We also have particular expertise in helping employee-owned mutuals to consider the finance they will require (see for example, our Technical Guide to Financing New Employee Mutuals.) 

Advice for commissioners

Social Finance has a well developed methodology for supporting commissioners to assess whether Social Impact Bonds and other social investment structures can help finance a shift from acute to community and preventative health and social care. For example, we are currently working for Worcestershire County Council and NHS Worcestershire to establish a Social Impact Bond to reduce loneliness and isolation among older people. As Professor Paul Corrigan set out in a paper for Social Finance in 2010, Social Impact Bonds offer particular promise for investing in the development of programmes which promote the better management of long term conditions such as diabetes and asthma through self-care.

Support for investors

Social Finance provides support to those considering investing in health and social care. Given the complexity of these fields, specialist advice can be invaluable in understanding the risks and opportunities associated with these sectors. Drawing on this work, we are currently raising capital for Care and Wellbeing Fund, which will invest in a range of social enterprises can deliver improved care for those with long-term conditions, those with disabilities, those excluded from employment due to poor health and those with the greatest need of preventative health services.  

Social Finance draws on the insights and experience of a Health and Social Care Advisory Group as we develop these projects. Members of the Advisory Group (who act in a personal capacity) are:

  • Mike Farrar (Chair)
  • Anita Charlesworth – Chief Economist, Nuffield Trust
  • Professor Paul Corrigan
  • Clare Davison – GP, Lantern Health CIC
  • Professor Robert Harris – Director of Strategy, NHS Commissioning Board
  • Peter Hewitt – Chief Executive, Guys’ and St. Thomas’ Charity
  • Neil Hunt – Chief Executive, Royal College of General Practitioners
  • Jonathan Lewis – Chief Executive, Bromley Healthcare
  • Michelle Mitchell – Chief Executive, MS Society
  • Sandie Keene – President, Association of Directors of Adult Services
  • Matt Robinson – Director of Strategy and Market Development, Big Society Capital 

Case studies

Shared Lives: Social Finance is working with Community Catalysts, MacIntyre and Shared Lives Plus (the national membership body for Shared Lives schemes) to develop the Shared Lives Incubator - an investment and support model for scaling Shared Lives programmes across England. Shared Lives is a model of care in which families provide home and community-based care arrangements for someone in need of support. Well implemented, it can deliver better care which is less expensive than traditional residential care settings. This project, funded through the Investment and Contract Readiness Fund and Social Enterprise Investment Fund, has led to the development of a Shared Lives Incubator, which provides a combination of investment and professional expertise and is already supporting a number of schemes to start on the journey of expansion.  A report exploring the case for investment in Shared Lives can be found here.

Community Catalysts are recruiting a Director to manage and grow the Shared Lives Incubator. More information can be found here

BeActive: Social Finance assessed the impact of the pioneering BeActive physical activity programme in Birmingham. This included commissioning a detailed cost-benefit analysis, which demonstrated the impact of BeActive on various aspects of health, quality of life and economic productivity. This work helped to secure ongoing funding for Be Active. 

If you would like to discuss any of our work in health and social care in further detail please email

Click here for the Big Lottery Fund