Press release

Cabinet Office backs award dedicated to celebrating best public service mutuals

The country’s best public service mutuals will have a chance this autumn to win recognition from the mutuals sector and from government.

27 July 2012

The country’s best public service mutuals will have a chance this autumn to win a double dose of recognition - from the mutuals sector and from the centre of government in a single award.

The Philip Baxendale Awards, the UK’s only dedicated celebration of excellence in mutual and employee ownership, have announced the Cabinet Office’s official endorsement and support for their Public Service Mutual Award category.

The Public Service Mutual Award category celebrates the most impressive group of employees to have spun out of the public sector into an employee-led mutual organisation. The award was introduced at last year’s awards to reflect the broadening interest in mutual models in the public sector. Last month’s Mutuals Taskforce Report stated there are now 58 public service mutuals operating in England with several dozen more due to launch over the next couple of years.

This is the sixth year the Baxendale Awards, which are co-hosted by Baxi Partnership and the Employee Ownership Association (EOA), have been run as an independent recognition of the highest performers in the employee owned and mutual sector.

This year’s independent judge’s panel, which aims to bring together a balance of expertise from both private and public sectors, has been confirmed and will include:

  • Hugh Facey - Founder and Managing Director of employee owned engineering firm Gripple;
  • Patrick Lewis - Partners’ Counsellor of John Lewis Partnership;
  • Margaret Elliot - Founder and Executive Director of employee-owned care provider Sunderland Home Care Associates;
  • Dr Rannia Leontaridi - Head of the Mutuals policy, Cabinet Office;
  • Iain Hasdell - Chief Executive of the Employee Ownership Association;
  • David Erdal - former Chair of employee owned paper manufacturers Tullis Russell, author on employee ownership and Non-Executive Director at Baxi Partnership.

The Philip Baxendale Awards 2012 are open for nominations until Tuesday 16 October 2012. Make a nomination..

Dr. Rannia Leontaridi, Head of the Cabinet Office Mutuals Team, said:

Thousands of frontline public servants are forming mutuals and spinning out of the public sector because they see how more freedom to do their jobs results in better services for local people. The number of public service mutuals is growing rapidly and they are delivering remarkable improvements. We want to help celebrate their success. I would certainly encourage all public service mutuals to share their achievements and nominate themselves for this award.

Campbell McDonald, Director of Public Sector Practice at Baxi Partnership said:

We are delighted this year to welcome the Cabinet Office’s backing for our Best Public Service Mutual Award. There is a real momentum growing behind the potential for mutual models in the public sector and it is important that we take a moment to recognise the achievement of those who have taken this bold step and already have improvements to show for it.  We hope that the Baxendale Awards, now in their sixth year, continue to inspire organisations to shout their stories from the rooftops of how a mutual approach can have a tremendously positive impact on employees and service users alike.

Iain Hasdell, CEO of the Employee Ownership Association, the membership body for co-owned businesses in the UK, said:

Public service mutuals - public services that have spun out from the public sector to form new independent business with a high degree of employee ownership and engagement - are an engine of service improvement and business growth that we should celebrate.

I very much welcome the Cabinet Office’s official endorsement and support for the Public Service Mutual category within the Philip Baxendale Awards.

The 2011 Public Service Mutual award was won by NAViGO, which provides health and care services in North East Lincolnshire. Since spinning out as a mutual in 2010 NAViGO has cut infrastructure and management costs by £1.2m, made savings of £80,000 from reduced absenteeism and is now among the top performers nationally on a range of key performance indicators.

Kevin Bond, CEO at NAViGO said:

Our success at the 2011 Baxendale Awards was a wonderful way to recognise the hard work our employee owners have tirelessly put into our organisation during our “spin-out” of the public sector, and beyond.  We continue to go from strength to strength in delivering UK-leading health and care services in partnership with people who use our services, underpinned by our mutually owned structure.

The Philip Baxendale Awards were set up in honour of Baxi Partnership founder Philip Baxendale, a pioneer for the employee-owned movement, and the nine award categories cover the positive outcomes often seen in mutual ownership including employee engagement, innovation and productivity.  The awards are free to enter and the Awards Ceremony will take place on 14 November, on the eve of the 2012 Employee Ownership Association Annual Conference at the Birmingham Hilton Metropole Hotel. To find out more about the Awards including a full list of award categories or about Baxi Partnership please contact Robin Naudi on robin.naudi@baxipartnership.co.uk or 07785615204.

For more information on mutuals visit the Mutuals Information Service website or call the hotline on 0845 5390543.

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