Time for an ‘ownership revolution’ in social care

The Co-operative Party today calls for an ownership revolution in the social care sector, with carers, those who receive care, and their families represented on the company Boards of private social care providers, and given the right to own their firm when it changes hands.

Co-operative Party


The call comes in a new report published at the Party’s Annual Conference in Cardiff.

July, incoming Prime Minister Teresa May promised “to have not just consumers represented on company boards, but workers as well.”

The Report, entitled ‘Taking Care: A Co-operative Vision for Social Care’ argues that given the dominance of private providers and criticisms over low pay and standards of service, the care sector is the perfect place for such an ‘ownership revolution’ to begin.

The Co-operative Party proposes that employee and service user ownership is vital to tackling the growing crisis in social care, setting out a vision in which social care co-operatives – owned by their staff and social users – could take the place of private providers. The Report calls for:

  • A ‘right to run’, with carers, those who receive care, and their families represented on care company Boards, ensuring that those with the most sophisticated understanding of good quality care is hardwired into corporate governance
  • A ‘right to own’, with carers, those receiving care and their families given the right to take over their company if it is at risk of closure or is changing hands.

Speaking ahead of the launch, Co-operative Party General Secretary Claire McCarthy said:

The new Prime Minister wants to see employees on company boards.  She is right.  And private sector social care providers would be the perfect place to start.  That is why the Co-operative Party are calling for a ‘Right to Run’ with carers, care recipients and their families having a guaranteed right to representation on the company boards of private sector care providers.

Those who provide and rely on social care services have the knowledge and vested interest necessary to deliver good quality, cost effective care.  The best way to align those interests and knowledge is through the mutual ownership of care services, with care providers that are owned and run by care recipients and their families, care workers and the wider community.”