Decent care is about people, relationships and community. Co-ops are a great way to organise activities and resources around these pillars.
Our care system is in acute crisis. Co-op approaches to care and wellbeing have the potential to make the system safer, effective and more efficient, by improving standards but also crucially by enabling people to be healthier and happier in their homes and communities. This is about more than care - it’s about the good life.
We are involved in exploring and piloting co-op approaches. Local governments and local health systems can do a lot to help us.
Co-ops can’t solve the current social care funding crisis; though they can help us spend money and allocate resources in better ways.
Co-op Care Forum
Working with a coalition of partners we helped to establish the Co-op Care Forum in 2015. The purpose of this Forum is to identify, support and champion co-operative approaches to care. Read our Terms of Reference.
To date this Forum has:
- Organised numerous events connecting with a range of stakeholders
- Considered detail a range of approaches currently being practiced or development
- Scoped and joint-funded a research project looking at user and community-led care co-op development
From the outset Co-operatives UK provided secretarial support for the Co-op Care Forum. In February 2017 the Forum chose to become wholly autonomous from Co-operatives UK and the secretarial role passed over to democratically appointed officers.
Co-operatives UK remains an active member of the Co-op Care Forum. For more details, follow the Forum on Twitter.
In partnership with East of England Co-op and the Wales Co-operative Centre we have commissioned the Co-op College to conduct research into user and community-led care co-op development. We expect to publish findings in May 2017.
In 2014 Co-operatives UK Associate Pat Conaty published a report examining the potential for democratic social care in the UK, drawing on examples for around the world. Download here.
From 2006-09 Co-operatives UK and the Department for Health conducted an action research project, which led to the development of the UK's first multi-stakeholder care co-ops. Download the report here.