• Andrew Laird

“We won’t get a better opportunity to redesign services – we must seize it” Report on the Deliveri

Updated: Apr 6

To download the presentations from the event, scroll to the bottom of this page.


Organisations delivering health and social care in the North West are optimistic about devolution –  that was the overwhelming sense from last week’s event in Manchester, Delivering Devolution – the role of new public service delivery models, co-hosted by Mutual Ventures and Social adVentures.


The event explored how commissioners and providers can work together to implement the devolution agenda in areas including health, social care and children’s services. The importance of the issues was reflected by the buzz around event, and the diversity of participants. It was attended by more than 75 organisations, including local authorities, NHS commissioners, and social enterprises.


Capturing the mood, a survey of attendees found that almost 90% thought that devolution will have a positive impact on public services, and 65% felt reforms would create greater public engagement in local services. Half of respondents said devolution would create more opportunities for their organisation, compared to 35% thinking opportunities would stay at a similar level as now.


Respondents also thought alternative delivery models would be an important enabler to devolution, with key benefits including providing a platform for innovation, allowing multiple stakeholders to be involved in governance arrangements, and bringing together expertise from the private and public sectors.


As part of a lively discussion, attendees heard from:

  1. Hazel Blears, Chair of both the Social Investment Business and the Institute for Dementia, Salford University. Hazel urged attendees to get involved with devolution saying: “We will never have a better opportunity to redesign the system that people need in this area.” She spoke passionately about the opportunity available to provide better dementia care in Manchester – to improve the quality of life for patients and their carers, as well as saving substantial sums of public money. She also encouraged the voluntary sector to engage and not be afraid to influence the reform agenda.

  2. Warren Heppolette, Strategic Director, Health and Social Care Integration, Greater Manchester CCGs, Local Authorities & NHS England. Warren outlined the work done to date and the planned future steps in designing Manchester’s £6bn devolved health and social care system. He argued that if devolution was going to succeed, it needed to be approached with genuine humility – and that no one organisation or individual would hold the answers.

  3. Jonathan Lindley, Director of the government’s Mutuals Programme and part of the newly created Inclusive Economy Unit. Jonathan underlined the government’s continued support for mutuals as vehicles that could drive economic and social value. He set out the next steps in developing a new strategy, including research in 2017 to chart the effectiveness of mutuals to date.

  4. A range of innovative organisations in health and social care, with Ian Dodds (Deputy CEO, Achieving for Children), Alex Hopkins (CEO elect at Together for Children – Sunderland) and Rachel Laws (CEO – PossAbilities CIC) sharing insights from their journeys in creating new organisations in children’s care, health and well-being. All three emphasised the importance of employee and service user involvement in driving improvement, as well as having tenacity and determination in driving through change.

  5. Scott Darraugh, CEO, Social Adventures. Scott gave an insight into how Social enterprises could deliver at scale as part of a new devolved landscape in the North West. Scott discussed his involvement in the Health and Wellbeing Partnership in Greater Manchester. The partnership involves nine separate organisations, using a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) model to enable collaboration whilst protecting each member’s identity, values and interests.

  6. Andrew Laird, Director at Mutual Ventures, outlined the range of alternate delivery models available in enabling reform and outlined their potential role in helping to make devolution a reality on the ground.

To download the presentations from the event, click here (N.B. Large file 6MB).


To view the agenda from the event, click here.


To learn more about our work on devolution and how we could help you, click here.